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Watch: Delivery robots will soon take last mile delivery in their stride

PortandTerminal.com, May 23, 2019

Ford unveils driverless van that comes with its own two-legged delivery robot called “Digit” to drop off packages on your doorstep.

Ford has partnered with startup Agility Robotics to create a two-legged robot called ‘Digit’ that can deliver packages right to your doorstep. 

In the near future, robots will deliver groceries, help take care of us in our homes, and assist in disaster recovery. We are pioneering legged robot technologies to solve the mobility challenges and enable this future.

Agility Robotics

‘It’s not always convenient for people to leave their homes to retrieve deliveries or for businesses to run their own delivery services,’ Ken Washington, chief technology officer at Ford, wrote in a recent blog post. 

‘If we can free people up to focus less on the logistics of making deliveries, they can turn their time and effort to things that really need their attention.

‘Enter Digit, a two-legged robot designed and built by Agility Robotics to not only approximate the look of a human, but to walk like one, too,’ Washington added. 

Ford’s robot is capable of lifting packages that weigh 40lbs, so it can deliver your pizza, Amazon package or groceries straight to your doorstep.

Another two-legged robot called “Cassie” being demonstrated at Agility Robotics head-quarters

Digit’s unique design also allows it to tightly fold itself up for easy storage in the back of a self-driving vehicle until it’s called into action. Once a self-driving car arrives at its destination, Digit can be deployed to grab a package from the vehicle and carry out the final step in the delivery process.

Agility Robotics says it expects deliveries to begin in the beginning of 2020.

ANYbotics Last-Meter Robotic Package Delivery with its ANYmal robot from CES 2019

Ford is not alone in working on autonomous delivery robots. It’s joining a crowded field of early entrants like SoftBank-owned Boston Dynamics, as well as robotics firm ANYbotics, which unveiled its robot delivery dog at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year.

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