Image courtesy: CTV News
The second robot, a tiny variant of the Gita cargo-carrying bot dubbed Gitamini was unveiled by Piaggio Fast Forward, a division of the historic Italian freight company Piaggio. Gitamini’s form and function remain the same as Gita’s large (the name is Italian for a small trip or outing). The robot comprises of two big wheels, a central trunk and a visual system for the machine which it uses to recognise and monitor its owner. Gitamini weights 28 lbs, with a capacity for 21 miles for up to 20 lbs within it. This compares Gita in an intriguing way, which may be over — 40 pounds, but just 12 miles.
In order to navigate and track their users, Gitamini employs an array of cameras and sensors, including a radar (not for the original Gita). You just stand on the side of the Gitamini and press a pairing button to activate this mode. Then the robot locks you up with eyesight alone (no use of GPS or Bluetooth) and tracks you at speeds up to 6mph.
The trunk of the robot can be secured and its mode deactivated, but active mitigating functions do not exist. Asked about it, CEO Greg Lynn of Piaggio Fast Forward told The Verge it is “not probable that anyone could get away unobserved” because the item is so conspicuous. “A stolen Gita is of little use to anybody because it needs a secure telephone connection for unlocking, updating and using it,” said Lynn. “We still have to understand that a gita is stolen, broken into or parked.”
The Gita was always a little strange. It definitely looks amazing and videos show that it works more or less like a helicopter (although it’s more noisy than you could imagine). But who will pay hundreds of dollars on something that just has a few bags and is blocked by steps and escalators, it is not apparent. While at a minimum Gitamini is cheaper — it costs $1,850 (and will be available on mygita.com on 15 October) while the launch will see the original Gita pricing dropping to $2,950 Gitamini doesn’t solve any of these basic annoyances.
When we questioned Greg Lynn, CEO, about the robot, he refused to provide any data, but claimed that “half the US state Gita robots […] were active in a southern belt where the outside weather is more favourable throughout the year.”
“The majority of consumer Gitas is used in a number of areas to substitute for neighbourhood automobile journeys, and they are spent outside on a mile or more round trip,” says Lynn. However, he also saw that there were commercial clients in the organisation. Gitas is presently located in eight US airports (including JFK and LAX), and many more in scheduled neighbourhoods, such Florida’s Water Street Tampa and California’s Ontario Ranch.