Piaggio, the Italian company that makes Vespa scooters just recently revealed its newest development this week. It’s called the Gita. This model isn’t designed to transport humans, rather it’s a personal delivery device or a cargo robot. The robot was designed by a new startup within the broader Piaggio group of brands, called Piaggio Fast Forward, in Boston. Gita was launched on February 2nd, in Boston.
A High-performance Robot
Gita is an intelligent and nimble cargo vehicle designed and engineered with the same attention to safety, braking, balancing and vehicle dynamics that you would expect of a high-performance motorcycle.
Can Run for 8 Hours
Gita looks much like a carbon fiber take on the exercise ball but with tires in a meridian position. It has multiple cameras embedded within its shell. Gita can follow a person, or roll autonomously in an environment it has already mapped. The robot is 26 inches tall and can carry up to 40 pounds at a time. It has a maximum speed of 22 miles per hour, so it can keep up with a person on foot or riding a bike. It can run for about 8 hours of continuous use.
Modes of Operation
- Follow: When in follow mode, Gita learns how to navigate complex spaces by trailing an experienced guide equipped with a wearable, that is you. As it travels, it creates a 3D map of its surroundings.
- Autonomous: In environments, Gita has already explored, it can move independently between waypoints. Gita detects and avoids obstacles should any features of the real world not coincide with its existing maps.
Robotic Features of Gita
- Follow or Head off alone: With the tap of a button, Gita can follow you, head off alone to a pre-assigned waypoint, or form a convoy with other Gitas.
- Expressive: It is approachable and communicative. It expresses using lights, sounds, and a touchscreen interface to stay in touch.
- All Terrain: It has large wheels like a bicycle, so it can operate on irregular surfaces, indoors and outdoors, on sidewalks and streets, up and down ADA compliant ramps.
- Fast: Gita matches the full range of human mobility, with speeds that extend from a crawl to a fast ride. Gita can move at up to 22 mph.
- Never Lost: It always knows the way. Even if you are behind a tree or around the corner. It will always find you and catch back up.
- Secure: It’s lid has a secure lock to protect its cargo. Gita is tracked at all times. It is equipped with a 360-degree camera.
- Durable: The robot is build to carry up to 40 pounds of cargo and a volume of up to nearly 2,000 cubic inches. That is the equivalent of a case of a vine, a loaded rucksack, or two stuffed grocery bags.
- Long Range: Gita’s batteries will last for a full 8 hours when operated at walking speeds. It can follow you around all day without getting tired.
A Robot for Good Use
The Gita needs to follow a human around first in order to learn how to navigate around a new environment. Its design allows it to go wherever a person in a wheelchair could go, including ADA-compliant ramps, elevators and grocery store aisles. In the next six months, Piaggio Fast Forward plans to run pilot tests with Gita on different college campuses and in towns in the U.S. The company visualizes the Gita assisting maintenance, gardening and custodial workers, and others who must carry heavy things around to get their jobs done on a given day, especially at resorts, senior living and school campuses.