Ford Looking into Use of Robots for Package Delivery
UNITED STATES – According to an online news report posted at foxnews.com, vehicle manufacturer Ford is looking into the use of robots for package delivery. The company discovered a need for the robots when it found that delivery recipients were not willing to meet autonomous cars outside to fetch their packages.*
Currently, Ford is in the midst of testing autonomous vehicles for delivery purposes. The self-driving vehicles can bring people items ranging from groceries and takeout food to online retail purchases. In simulations so far, the vehicles are doing fairly well at driving items to various locations, but Ford quickly discovered a problem of another type.
By testing decoy autonomous cars delivering for Domino’s Pizza, Ford found that people were not willing to come out to the vehicle to get their pizzas. People wanted the pizzas to be brought directly to their doors, rather than having to go outside and fetch the pizzas themselves. Ford’s proposed solution to this problem is robots.
Working with Agility Robotics, Ford has created a human-like robot that will exit the company’s autonomous vehicles at their destinations and carry deliveries right to people’s doors. The robots reportedly have specially designed “hands” that can grip packages and can lift and carry up to 40 pounds. The robots then set boxes onto doorsteps and send messages to the recipients saying that the deliveries have been made.
Ford has released a video demonstrating how the robots will work, but the company has not yet said when it will start testing the robots in real delivery scenarios.
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