Philadelphia International Airport’s concessions program is piloting robotic food delivery to customers at the travel hub as a new addition to its contactless ordering platform OrderatPHL.com, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Named gita (pronounced “jee-ta,” meaning “short trip” in Italian), the robot is powered by digital service AtYourGate and “smart following technology” company Piaggio Fast Forward, which was founded in 2015 by Boston entity Piaggio Group. Piaggio Group is the Italian manufacturer and creator of the well-known Vesper scooter, PBJ reports.
Gita is the first product from Piaggio Fast Forward and is a following robot designed to carry 40 pounds for up to four hours, which the company equates to roughly 20 miles of walking, on a single charge. The tech entity specializes in pedestrian mobility intelligence and aims to create mobile tech solutions that mirror the way people move to ultimately help them complete day-to-day tasks.
The robots at PHL pair with a human delivery person by way of visual sensors, allowing them to follow the person at a distance, said Megan O’Connell, marketing and customer service manager at MarketPlace PHL. Gita stops when the delivery person stops and turns when the delivery person turns. If the robot hits any type of road block, it immediately stops and pauses until it relocates its delivery person.
So what's the vision for the gita and how long will the pilot program last? PBJ.com has the answers.