This little robot could team up with a self-driving vehicle to make package delivery a truly human-free endeavor.
Digit is the creation of Agility Robotics. The company is working with Ford to investigate the use of this robot as a last-mile delivery worker.
This way, the process of bringing a box to your door could be a truly human-free experience from start to finish.
Digit can carry packages weighing up to 40 pounds.
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.
Digit can react to outside stimuli, staying upright even after being bumped.
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.
Ford brought up the interesting point that the AV itself can help Digit accomplish its task.
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.
Don't expect anything to come of it in the next couple years.
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.
Keep clicking or scrolling to see more photos of Digit.
Originally published last year. Updated with new images and information.
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