Building an autonomous transport robot is not easy: it must be ready to work in any context. Gita, a new robot developed by PFF (Piaggio Fast Forward, a division of the historic company that baptized that miracle of style signed Dante Giacosa which is the Vespa) has developed a different approach.
It is a robot-vehicle capable of carrying 19kg of luggage that can follow us anywhere, independently.
Imagine how many scenarios it could be useful: think of the expense brought by elderly people, or even heavy objects that can patiently follow us during our jogging, or while we are cycling home (at a maximum speed of 35 kilometers per hour).
Gita is able to follow a subject equipped with an RFID device, but will also be able to move completely autonomously (which will make him a serious candidate to become the pony express of the future, sending home couriers in the flesh). A couple of stereoscopic cameras and a system capable of mapping the road in real time allow Gita not only to follow a subject, but also to understand what he is doing.
It is very important, because in this way the luggage robots will learn a route with a short training (imagine any route: I don't know, home-gym) and will then be able to cover it completely by itself.
In the coming months, Gita will be tested severely and in different ways (both by following subjects and proceeding independently): the robot will help gardeners, caretakers, cleaning staff in private facilities. Piaggio plans to launch it on the market in 2018, the price is not yet fixed.
It is too early to understand whether or not it will be a commercial success, I believe everything is linked to a complex of factors, not least the appearance of the vehicle, now at a somewhat primal stage: if they can make it "cool" and fashionable it's safe to bet that in the future even kids and commuters will travel followed by their luggage :)