Are you struggling to carry shopping bags? Gita is a robot companion who will do the job.
Gita, which means “short trip” in Italian, was developed by robotics company Piaggio Fast Forward and is being tested in Newcastle, England, by the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing.
“Gita is a first of a kind, a carrying, following robot,”Professor Nic Palmarini, Director at the National Innovation Centre, said:
The robot can follow its human using recognition technology through built-in cameras.
It can carry nearly 40 pounds of cargo in a lockable storage hold and Gita even doubles as a seat, so people don’t have to either carry their stuff or stand.
“Well, it would be great to have something to carry your shopping,”Carol, a Gita tester, said: “Have your hands free, particularly if it’s a bad day and you’re dealing with an umbrella, and your phone, and your purse and things, and somewhere to store it safely, your stuff.
“It is handy to have something to lean on when you are tired, or if you need to relax while shopping.” she continued.
But don’t get too comfortable. The point of Gita is to encourage people to exercise more.
“Walking is the best way to live longer, healthier lives.” Palmarini said. “It is recommended that we take at least 10,000 steps each day. So why not keep creating new objects and devices to help us get where we need them?
“Why don’t we empower ourselves to walk more?”He continued. “And that’s what we think is very interesting as a different approach to leverage the most innovative technology, machine learning, and robots, to allow people to walk more.”
The shop bot, which costs about $103 a month, isn’t ready just yet. But when it is, it may be a regular fixture in markets.