Like Sony, Ford had an interesting announcement to make during CES 2020. The car maker announced that it has bought robots produced by Agility Robotics. The robot in question is called Digit. Ford claims that it’s taking the first two units that roll off the production line.
Ford says that Digit has no issues traversing the same types of environments most people do every day. And when not it use, it folds itself up in a way that takes up minimal space. It being lightweight also makes it so that it has a long run time.
As for why Ford would want such a robot, it may have something to do with the company’s autonomous vehicle plans. The company says that it will look into ways the Digit can be used in warehousing and delivery. It’s able to fold itself up while in an autonomous delivery truck, and pop out when the vehicle reaches its destination. Digit then picks up the item to be delivered, and then drops it off. This makes the entire delivery process autonomous.
But if something does go wrong, Digit will be able to ask for navigational assistance. It first sends information to its assigned autonomous vehicle, and then borrows its computing power to come up with a solution. When that fails, it then passes the info on to the cloud, requesting help from other systems.
It all sounds really fancy, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see Agility Robotics’ Digit in action anytime soon. After all, beyond its Dominos partnership, Ford hasn’t actually started rolling out self-driving delivery vehicles yet. Until that becomes a thing, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing robots doing deliveries.