- Ford partnered with Agility Robotics to create a two-legged delivery robot called Digit.
- This headless, two-legged robot can unfold itself from the back of an autonomous car and deliver a package straight to your door.
- According to Ford, Digit can carry up to 40 pounds, navigate stairs, and go around unexpected obstacles.
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Following is a transcript of the video.
Michelle Yan: This is Ford’s 2-legged delivery robot. It’s called Digit. Ford is working with Agility Robotics to create autonomous deliveries. Once a self-driving car arrives at its destination, Digit will unfold itself from the back of the car. Then, it will grab the correct package from the vehicle and walk straight to your door to drop off the package. Digit was designed to look like a human and walk like one, too.
Jonathan Hurst: Our goal with Digit is to have a robot as a mobility platform that can be in human spaces, go where people go, and work with people. And there are so many applications where that’s going to be a useful and important task. One of the big ones is package delivery. A robot vehicle that can drive on all our roads is going to be able to do that. But how do you get it from the vehicle to the doorstep? And that’s where our robot comes in. That’s what Digit can do.
Michelle Yan: It can carry packages that weigh up to 40 pounds, go up and down stairs, walk naturally through uneven terrain, and can even keep its balance if it bumps into something. How is it able to do all that? LiDAR sensors and a few stereo cameras, which is what many self-driving cars also use. The self-driving vehicle can wirelessly deliver information to Digit. This exchange of information can help Digit use the best pathway to the front door and overcome unexpected obstacles.
Jim McBride: We’d envision the AV to arrive at the site with all the information you’d need to know about starting a mission. We’d have the prior maps and the AV would be able to aid the robot when it got out of the vehicle, in knowing where it was and where it needs to go. And additionally, the AV is full of sensors and computers that can help the robot, which is a little bit thriftier around those components. Should it run into any difficulties in package delivery, we can either solve the problem on the car or we can relay that information to the cloud for further assistance.
Michelle Yan: This also helps keep Digit super lightweight and allow for a long run time. Ford claims Digit can operate most of the day. No word yet on when Ford expects to send Digit out on its own or where it will first launch. So, would you answer the door if this rang your doorbell?
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