Monday 17th Jun 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

Ford explores robot delivery

Ford is working with Agility Robotics to explore the use of robots to make the final delivery from a self driving vehicle.

Agility has designed Digit, a two legged robot which can navigate though basic scenarios.

Ford – Agility Robotics © Tim LaBarge 2019

Ken Washington, vice president, Ford research and advanced engineering, and chief technology officer, said: “Digit can go up and down stairs, walk naturally through uneven terrain, and even react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over.”

The idea is that Digit could tap the resources of the autonomous vehicle, which equipped with advanced sensors and heavy computing hardware, for additional support and analytical skills when needed.

“When a self-driving vehicle brings Digit to its final destination, the vehicle can wirelessly deliver all the information it needs, including the best pathway to the front door. Through this data exchange, Digit can work collaboratively with a vehicle to situate itself and begin making its delivery,” said Washington.

“Through our collaboration with Agility, we are striving to determine the best way for our self-driving vehicles to cooperate with Digit and understand how this new delivery method can be taken advantage of in the future.”