Piaggio Fast Forward is a Boston startup within Piaggio, the Italian company behind Vespa motorini and Moto Guzzi motorcycles. And Thursday night, PFF hosted a swanky reveal party at Café ArtScience to show off its new development: a cargo-carrying robot named Gita. (For those of you who don’t speak Italian, that’s pronounced “jee-tah” and means “a little trip.”)
One glance at Gita and you can tell, this is not your nonno’s cherry-red scooter. To put it simply, Gita is like if your car trunk broke free from the vehicle and became a robot that could follow you around wherever you traveled. It’s a colorful, somehow adorable wheel of a robot, capable of carrying 40 pounds of cargo while you’re on the go.
With the help of an accompanying wearable, the bot automatically follows a user, as if it were connected by an invisible tether. And Gita can complete tasks on its own, rolling about in any space that it’s had the chance to map out.
According to PFF, Gita can roll up to 22 miles per hour, which lets it keep up with pedestrians and bicyclists. It has an eight-hour battery life, and fully recharging the bot takes three hours – not much more than it takes your smartphone to be up and kicking again. Now that they’ve introduced Gita to the world, PFF plans to have people test the bot.
Want to see for yourself? Below, I have videos taken from Gita’s public debut night.
Here’s Gita following around Jeffrey Schnapp, CEO of PFF, last night:
And this is big brother bot, Kilo, and multiple Gite driving about on their own:
Videos via Olivia Vanni.