Digit is the creation of Agility Robotics, and the company is working with Ford to investigate the use of this robot as a last-mile delivery solution.   

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This way, the process of bringing a box to your door could be a truly human-free experience from start to finish.    

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Digit can carry packages weighing up to 40 pounds.    

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The idea is that, after an autonomous vehicle parks on the destination's driveway, this robot unfolds and leaves the car's cargo area, carrying the box to the front stoop.

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Digit can react to outside stimuli, staying upright even after being bumped.     

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Leaving the house and walking down the driveway to grab something out of a self-driving delivery van might be a difficult task for the elderly or disabled. 

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Ford brought up the interesting point that the AV itself can help Digit accomplish its task.    

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Through cameras, lidar and other sensors, the self-driving vehicle can create a local map of the path to the door, marking trouble spots like stairs or uneven cement, giving Digit a better idea of how to get that package delivered safely. 

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Don't expect anything to come of it in the next couple years.   

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If anything, this shows that Ford is willing to think outside the box (or, in this case, the van) to really flesh out its potential AV services.    

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