The idea is that Digit will carry the package in Ford's self-driving vehicle and leave at the doorstep of the house.
'It's not always convenient for people to leave their homes to retrieve deliveries or for businesses to run their own delivery services, ' Ken Washington, chief technology officer at Ford, wrote in a blog post.
Ford is teaming up with Agility Robotics to explore a brand-new frontier in the world of autonomy - and a new ways of thinking about how deliveries are made to consumers.
If you had any doubt that our Neil Blomkamp future is just around the corner, Ford has just released a video previewing the future of parcel delivery. Built out of lightweight material and capable of lifting packages that weigh up to 40 pounds, Digit can go up and down stairs, walk naturally through uneven terrain, and even react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over.
The robot Ford is testing is called Digit. Ford and Agility's robot walks on its two feet and has a human-like build.
Once it arrives at the delivery destination, Digit unfurls itself, picks up a package and finishes the final step in the delivery process, Washington noted.
Ford says that the robot's unique design means it can tightly fold itself for storage in the back of a self-driving vehicle. Instead of creating its information, Digit can utilize the information already stored in another robot's system to perform its task.
In order to get from the auto to the door autonomously, Ford says Digit taps into data obtained by the self-driving vehicle.
Digit the robot is equipped with LiDar and camera to help it navigate its surrounding environment and if it encounters an unexpected or hard to obstacle it can send an image back to the vehicle to figure a solution. "If it encounters an unexpected obstacle, it can send an image back to the vehicle and have the vehicle configure a solution".