The Italian company Piaggio Fast Forward has recently announced the launch of its second robot, Gitamini. Gita is a cargo-carrying robot and Gitamini is a smaller version.
The Gitamini is the perfect addition to your travels. It’s small-sized but still contains all of the functions of a full-sized Gita. We named it Gitamini, which is Italian for a short outing/trip. The robot has two wheels, a body, and a system that follows the user. The machine vision identifies those users. Gitamini weighs 28 lbs and can carry up to 20lbs in its interior. This doesn’t sound like much, but for a diminutive pup, it’s quite impressive. Consider that Gita (and many other breeds) can only carry around 40 lbs weight in its interior and for a very limited distance — 12 miles.
Gitamini uses radar & other sensors to locate your movements and stay close to you. For this following mode, you might simply tap a pairing button on the Gitamini. The robot is equipped with onboard sensors that allow it to just follow you using vision only. It moves at speeds of up to 6 mph.
The robot has a locking mechanism to avoid theft and the ability to disable the following mode. Piaggio Fast Forward’s CEO Greg Lynn says it’s not easy to simply walk off with one of these bikes unnoticed. They’re rather conspicuous objects, even if they’re parked. Lynn says “A stolen Gita isn’t of any use if it’s not being unlocked by a secure connection made to a user’s phone.” They go on to say “Updates are sent over the secure connection as well so only the owner can use the app. We have yet to learn of a Gita being stolen or broken into while being used or when parked.”
The Gita is an unusual product – not your typical grill – and it looks great, but we do wonder about the sound levels. But it’s not clear how many people will actually be willing to spend thousands of dollars on something that only carries a few bags and can’t go up or downstairs. Unfortunately, Gitamini doesn’t change any of the basic annoyances of the original Gita. Though it is at least a little cheaper, coming in at $1,850. You can pre-order now (at mygita.com) and the Gita will also go down to $2,950 on launch day Oct 15th.
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Greg Lynn, the founder of Gita, wasn’t really keen to share sales figures with us, but did say that they have Gita robots operating in over half of the states of the US. These robots are designed for outdoor use and he says they’re found in the Southern States where weather is more friendly year-round.
“Most of the consumer Gitas are being used to replace car trips for neighborhood errands in a variety of communities, and they are used outdoors for round trips of a mile or more,” said Lynn. Although it also has some business customers.
Currently, there are Gitas in eight airports in the US. (including JFK and LAX) and more planned communities are being built, including Water Street Tampa in Florida and Ontario Ranch in California.