A decade ago, our all-time favorite pizza company challenged to give a free pizza if the delivery takes more than half an hour! Their servicemen minimized the margin of human error because who wants a loss for their business? And today, Ford partnered up with a US-based startup, Agility Robots, reveal the product of their research project. “Digit”, a semi-autonomous robot that delivers packages from the car to your door. Who doesn’t need an assistant to carry the grocery into your kitchen once you park your car, after a long, tiring drive?
Surprising you more, the self-driving vehicle first reaches its destination, drops off the robot and then guides the robot via signals to the targeted drop off location. Wondering if Ibn-al-Haytham knew his invention would one day be used for path planning and navigation!
Digit is a bipedal robot that helps it move not only on straight paths but up and down the steps as well. It can lift weights up to 40 pounds and is designed to coordinate with self-driving vehicles wirelessly. This artificially intelligent robot even maps up the shortest path to the door. Not boasting off, but the rechargeable assistant can work straight for 5 hours with a fully charged battery.
This prominent milestone achieved has added ease of transportation in local communities. This human-sized robot can also be employed in an industry to carry load between production lines or can make its place in the warehouse. The time is near when these robots will become your shopping assistants and move with you in the entire mall.
It often strikes the human mind, if one day this human favored technology, goes all upside down? Shelton – CEO Agility Robotics declares that the product won’t be allowed to be armed with any weapons, whether it be for non-human use or otherwise. Further adding, Shelton puts the decision in the hands of the government to permit the use of robots for military applications.
Another major concern comes with the risk of such robots substituting for human labor and hence, decreasing human employability. Well, for now, Digit is being produced in a very small quantity and intended to be more research-oriented. Agility Robotics gave the figure of 20-30 units for the entire 2020, but the number is still small enough to interfere in the job market.
Anyways, continuous breakthroughs implementing machine learning, simultaneous localization and mapping and artificial intelligence are easing human life. It is yet to be seen how many generations does it facilitate before the tables are seen turning.