"And as we've learned in our pilot programs, it's not always convenient for people to leave their homes to retrieve deliveries or for businesses to run their own delivery services". "If we can free people up to focus less on the logistics of making deliveries, they can turn their time and effort to things that really need their attention".
Dr. Ken Washington, Ford's vice president of research and advanced engineering, said Digit not only looks like a human but walks like one, too.
Ford's robot is capable of lifting packages that weigh 40lbs, so it can deliver your pizza, Amazon package or groceries straight to your doorstep.
Digit is a foldable delivery robot with two arms and a pair of "ostrich-like legs".
In order to maximise the van's payload, the robot can be folded up when not in use. "The vehicle could even send that information into the cloud and request help from other systems to enable Digit to navigate, providing multiple levels of assistance that help keep the robot light and nimble". If the robot encounters an unexpected obstacle, it can send an image back to the vehicle and have the vehicle calculate a solution.
In order to lighten this load, Ford joined forces with Agility Robotics in an attempt to also reshape the way deliveries are being made, while giving autonomous delivery vehicles a hand by helping them execute that precious final step of getting the package from the auto, directly to your door.
Sellers will be wondering if robot-delivered packages will be quicker, with better tracking.
However, in a February press release, Agility said it expects deliveries to begin in the beginning of 2020.
Ford has set a 2021 launch date for the autonomous vehicle but hasn't specified when they intend to release the robot delivery service.