Back in 2019, Piaggio Fast Forward released the first iteration of an automated cargo hauler for pedestrians called the Gita. After two years and multiple design improvements, the US-based subsidiary of Italy’s Piaggio has introduced the smaller and more agile version, the Gitamini, which will go on sale this October.
The original Gita came with a cargo volume of up to nearly 2,000 cubic inches and a weight of 50 lb (23 kg). It was also capable of carrying up to 40 pounds (18 kg) of equipment and traveling at a maximum speed of 6 mph (10 km/h) with a 20-mile (32 km) or 4-hour runtime.
Gitamini, on the other hand, is about the size of a Border Collie and weighs only 28 pounds (13 kg). It can carry up to 20 pounds (9 kg) of gear and, thanks to the external handles, can be easily lifted over curbs, stairs, and other obstacles even when fully loaded. The cargo robot has the same top speed of 6 mph (10 km/h) and reportedly a battery range of about 30 miles (48 km) or 6 hours per under-2-hour charge and will automatically power itself down if it’s left idle for more than half an hour.
The mini cargo robot will seamlessly follow the owner closely, matching its pace to him or her. Once paired with a smartphone, it will use its array of sensors and cameras, including radar, to calculate speed and pick up the pace when needed or brake when the owner stops. The robot does not require a GPS, cellular or wireless connection to do this. To activate this tracking mode, the person must stand in front of the robot and touch a pairing button.
The robot can thus be transformed into the best companion to go shopping, as it is also able to move smoothly over stairs and other obstacles, even when fully loaded.
The Gitamini will be available for purchase on October 15 in the United States at a price of $1,850. This release will bring the original Gita down in price to $2,950; some of these versions are already used in the United States.