Is Piaggio's Personal Cargo Robot Gita Necessary?

Renowned motorcycle manufacturer Piaggio is entering the robotic industry and probably the delivery business with a robot called Gita.

Piaggio, known as the company behind the popular Vespa scooters and Moto Guzzi motorcycles, recently unveiled its new product, a so-called cargo robot that follows the owner anywhere he or she goes. Gita, also labeled as a personal delivery service, is the creation of Piaggio Fast Forward which is under the Piaggio Group.

Gita, which means "short trip" in Italian, is described as a smart autonomous vehicle that "extends a person's cargo-carrying abilities" and resembles a blue exercise ball. Among its many impressive functions is the ability to analyze its surroundings and make decisions that humans would make as they move. This allows it to navigate indoors and outdoors safely.

The 26-inch high robotic cargo vehicle can carry up to 40 pounds of weight while running at a maximum speed of 22 miles per hour which is around the speed when riding a bicycle. Gita does not travel as fast as cars but is fast enough to trail its owner. It can adjust its speed in accordance to how fast or slow its owner is going.

Gita is the perfect accompaniment for elderly folks, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with small children, and others who just wish to walk around without being burdened by a heavy load. In fact, Piaggio Fast Forward CEO Jeffrey Schnapp stresses that the cargo robot helps free up the hands while doing "mundane transportation chores" so people can focus on other everyday tasks. One scenario that comes to mind is grocery shopping with a small child. The parent can still carry his or her child while going through the stalls and dropping items into Gita. The burden of pushing a cart is negated.

Gita is also capable of traveling on its own allowing its owner to stay in one place and have something delivered to another. In a way, Piaggio's robotic cargo vehicle is another take on futuristic delivery services. Most companies are focusing on using flying drones to do its deliveries, Gita likes to stay on the ground.

Piaggio Fast Forward, a startup that is based in Boston, MA, was created by the Piaggio Group to "reinvent the future of mobility". Gita will be officially introduced on Feb. 2 at Cambridge, MA.

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