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Ford Is Testing Two-Legged Delivery Robot

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The Ford car makers have announced a partnership with the robot company, Agility Robotics, to develop a two-legged delivery robot.


The automakers are developing self-driving vehicles to transport packages to people who shop online. The robot will then carry the goods to the doorstep of the shoppers.


Ford, in the new partnership, will be alerted when a customer places an order online. Then the warehouse worker will put it in a cardboard box. The robot, called Digit, will then use its spiky hands to carry the box to the self-driving van.



When the van arrives with Digit at the destination, the trunk will open and the robot will roll out of the vehicle.


The delivery robot will complete the cycle by carrying the delivery box to the owner’s doorstep. The Digit robot also has the ability to step over cracks and walk on stairs.


Ford in the communication writes about the robot:

“A self-driving vehicle is capable of creating a detailed map of the surrounding environment. So why not share that data with Digit instead of having it recreate the same type of information?


“Through the data exchange, Digit can work collaboratively with a vehicle to situate itself and begin making its delivery.”


Ford intends to launch its first commercial robotaxi service in 2021. The automakers plan to spend $4 billion through 2023 to build the autonomous vehicle business.


The autonomous vehicle is equipped with sensors and computing power that let’s get involved in complex decision making. The car will share data with Digit long before it is deployed so that when it wakes up, it will already know where it is in the world.


Ford Agility Robotics


If the robot runs into any problems, it will communicate with the AV for extra perception and decision making.


Agility Robotics CEO, Damion Shelton explains,

“If you know you’re riding around in the vehicle with a clear view of your entire surroundings, it’s a lot easier to get up and move around. That’s really how we’re viewing the primary purpose of this beta exchange: to help the robot be aware of its surroundings so that you don’t go through this sort of boot up process where the robot gets out of the car and is confused for the first 30 seconds it’s turned on.”


Ford is currently testing the technology in Miami, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Washington, USA.

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