Leaders & followers
An inside look at the tech behind gita’s pedestrian etiquette
When we started Piaggio Fast Forward, we set out with a mission to create innovative tech that moves the way people move with the goal to help people be more autonomous in their everyday lives. In order to do this, we knew that it meant creating an experience that was not only intuitive and highly intelligent, but one that was also totally hands free.
An earlier proto of gita required the user to wear a tracking device in the form of a belt in order for the robot to pair and follow. It worked great but it was clunky and let’s be honest, there are only a few who can rock that geek-chic fanny pack look, so we went back to the drawing board.
We observed, we researched, we engineered, and we pushed the limits even further, which brings us to our dynamic following technology: a first (and only) of its kind, and the brains behind gita’s pedestrian etiquette. Here’s a little bit about what makes it so unique:
Unlike other following bots, gita doesn’t need a GPS or tracking device. With just the touch of a button it pairs to and follows its user using information-gathering sensors that allows it to see, understand, and react to its surroundings:
A 3-dimensional understanding of people, obstacles, speeds, and trajectories so that it can dynamically follow behind you (mirroring your speed and adapting its distance accordingly)
Color-sensing technology— Ability to differentiate between people and objects during the day and night
Neural networks— Ability to process visual and spatial information real-time for quick reactions and continuous learning
As gita senses the surrounding environment, it adapts its behavior and moves in response to whatever is going on around it. It’s multi-motor system and 2 large wheels are what makes it so incredibly nimble and quick.
Independent wheels— The right and left wheel each have their own motor giving them the ability to drive at different speeds and even in different directions
Self-balancing— gita's third motor maintains its balance, moving its body over its wheels to keep it level when it starts and stops, drives up and down slopes, and travels over uneven surfaces
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A Q&A with Kevin, one of PFF’s robotics software engineers
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How we developed this behavior and acquired its patent
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