Ford introduced Android Digit, which solves the problem of delivering an order from an unmanned vehicle directly to the recipient’s door.
The delivery robot has two legs that bend backward like a heron and arms to grip the parcel, capable of withstanding a load of more than 18 kg. The limbs are covered with corrugated rubber for increased traction. He can also raise his arms to keep from falling..
The figure climbs the stairs and can walk on concrete easily, grass, gravel and wood. At the top of the torso is a camera and a laser radar sensor that resembles a puck. In general, android is similar to combat drones from the cinematic universe «star Wars».
Digit was created by Agility Robotics startup. Developers in favor of lightweight design. Most of the sensors and computing equipment for routing to the door are housed in the Ford vehicle, which reduces the weight of the hauler by 100 kg..
After the robot has left the package on the porch or handed it to the recipient, it returns to the cargo van, folds compactly and moves to the charger. Engineers are also testing variants of androids for the city, which can independently enter the entrances and climb to the desired floor..
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The automaker was concerned that wheeled courier robots would have difficulty navigating stairs. Therefore, Digit not only handles it easily, but can also raise his arms to keep from falling..
Ford Package Delivery Robot
The use of robots by delivery services is even more positive than the use of unmanned vehicles. Companies will not have to worry about the safety of passengers, and full automation will reduce shipping costs by 60%. The amounts can reach billions. For example, Amazon’s shipping costs in 2018 were $ 27 billion..
Ford wants to enter the figure as early as 2021, at the same time as introducing its self-driving fleet to transport people and parcels around the clock. The automaker estimates the potential cost of automated at $ 332 billion..
At the end of February FedEx also introduced own version of unmanned delivery robot.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: Ford Motor