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Ford marches up to your door

May 22, 2019.

Agility Robotics Digit-1.

Digit-1. © Ford Motor Company.

Autonomous delivery vehicles are nothing new: last August, we wrote about the Nuro delivery service in Arizona. But there was always a missing link – the final stretch from car to doorstep. Now, the Ford motor company has teamed up with Agility Robotics, creators of Cassie, to complement its autonomous delivery vehicles with a humanoid, two-legged, two-armed robot, called Digit-1, to deposit your packages right on your doorstep. The robot can handle uneven terrain and stairs to deliver packages of up to 20kg. The success of the system rests on the perfect, functional symbiosis between vehicle and robot. For example, the robot can tap the data generated by the vehicle’s cameras and LiDAR, draw on its computational power, and recharge on its batteries, making it lighter and more energy-efficient. Ford hopes to launch its autonomous vehicle service in 2021.

Ford Motor Company, “Meet Digit: a smart little robot that could change the way self-driving cars make deliveries.”

IEEE Spectrum, “Ford self-driving vans will use legged robots to make deliveries.”