Piaggio Fast Forward, a subsidiary of the storied Italian automaker Piaggio, has launched its second robot, Gitamini, a compact version of its cargo-carrying bot Gita. Gitamini has the same form and function as the full-sized Gita. The robot has two large wheels, a central trunk, and a machine vision system for identifying and following its owner.
Gitamini weighs 28 pounds and can carry up to 20 pounds for 21 miles in its interior. Gitamini navigates and follows its user using a variety of cameras and sensors, including radar. Simply stand in front of the Gitamini and press a pairing button to activate this mode. The robot will then lock on to you using only vision (no GPS or Bluetooth) and follow you at speeds of up to 6mph. The robot’s trunk can be locked and the follow mode disabled, but there are no active theft mitigation features.
The Gita has always been an unusual product. It certainly looks fantastic, and videos indicate that it performs roughly as advertised . But it’s unclear who will spend thousands of dollars on something that can only carry a few bags and is hampered by steps and Gitamini doesn’t address any of these basic annoyances, but it is a little cheaper — it costs $1,850 , while the original Gita drops to $2,950. The majority of consumer Gitas are used to replace car trips for neighborhood errands in a variety of communities, and they are used outdoors for round trips of a mile or more. Gitas can currently be found in eight US airports (including JFK and LAX) and a number of planned communities, such as Water Street Tampa in Florida and Ontario Ranch in California.