While self-driving vehicles are often touted as a way to meet rising demand for e-commerce deliveries, there's one problem that hasn't quite been solved: how to get a package from the vehicle to the consumer's door.
Carmaker Ford believes it may have the answer, after teaming up with Agility Robotics to explore how its two-legged robot 'Digit' could be used in conjunction with a self-driving vehicle to deliver packages to the home.
The robot, which is designed to walk like a human, can go up and down stairs, cross uneven terrain and fold up to fit into the back of a self-driving vehicle, says Ford, making it ideally suited to carrying out the final step in the delivery process.
Ford sees a future where Digit can draw on detailed mapping data from its self-driving vehicle to navigate the best route to a shopper's front door. And if it does hit an unexpected obstacle? The robot can "react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over," promises Ford...