Ford and Agility Robotics have teamed up to build a robot named Digit.
This robot can walk upright on two legs, go up and down stairs, and carry up to 40 pounds at a time, CNBC reported Wednesday.
Ford has taken an interest in this project because this walking robot is part of a long-term plan involving autonomous vehicles. Deliveries of food or mail via self-driving cars will have a way to get from the car to the front door, thanks to Digit. For companies such as Domino’s Pizza and Postmates, this is big news.
“It’s not always convenient for people to leave their homes for packages 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 efforts to things that really need their attention,” wrote Ford’s Chief Technology Officer Ken Washington in a post on Medium, CNBC reported.
Washington’s sentiments seem to resonate deeply with businesses who are looking to streamline and simplify the delivery process. These corporations will be able to rely fully on automated vehicles and robots like Digit to deliver items to a precise location, without requiring an employee to maneuver the vehicle and package — saving time, energy and money for the company as a whole.
Ford and Agility Robotics report that Digit and the automated vehicle will be able to communicate directly with each other, entirely eliminating the need for a driver or delivery personnel.
Ford is projecting the release of autonomous vehicles to the market by 2021.
In partnership with Agility Robotics, these two companies are still researching the full capabilities of Digit, and how this technology may best be used.