Ford Envisions Headless Robots Delivering Packages

Posted on May 23, 2019

Ford Robot Delivery

Ford's vision of the future has headless robots delivering packages. The bipedal robot will be driven to its destination in a Ford driverless car.

The use of the robot and car means a package could be delivered without the aid of a human from a warehouse right up to the customer's door. The robot named Digit is a product from a startup called Agility Robotics.

A report from Bloomberg says Ford wants to start using these Digit delivery robots as early as 2021.

Craig Stephens, director of controls and automation in Ford's research and advanced engineering, tells Bloomberg, "We’re going to have an AV fleet out there, and my goal is to get robots to be able to be there and ready at the same time."

The robot looks creepy according to Engadget and others but Agility CTO Jonathan Hurst thinks a head might make it creepier. Hurst says, "If it looks very close to an animal or a human but is not quite there, then immediately people are revolted by it. And we didn't physically need a head up there for our current perception needs."

Ford calls this the "Future of Self-Driving Vehicle Delivery." The Ford video shows a mother and child mostly ignoring the headless robot as it carries a package along the sidewalk next to them. Even their little dog is completely uninterested in the large robot walking next to it. The robot also manages to avoid a scooter that is on the ground on its way to the door.

Image: Ford