Piaggio’s cargo robot makes dogs obsolete

An auto-following pet that can carry our shopping? Sign us up...

So this is basically a dog crossed with a suitcase?

Not really. The Piaggio Gita has no fur, no fear of hairdryers, and no desire to do anything other than follow you around and carry stuff. It’s more like the Sony Aibo’s mule relative. Or a coolbox crossed with 'Follow Me' drone. In other words, all the loyalty of a mutt, but with storage space instead of a pathological need to be loved.

Did they replace your heart with a coolbox too?

That would be quite useful at festivals, actually. No, it’s more that carrying things is just so unbecoming in 2017. The Gita (pronounced ‘jee-ta’) solves this. It can lug up to 18kg of goods around at a top speed of 22mph, tracking its owner via a belt that creates a 3D map of the area. Once that’s done, the Gita can then autonomously trundle along the route or around your house. Just think, little Gita superhighways ferrying your supermarket shopping back home, or taking your obsolete dog for a walk.

Wow, that sounds really...dangerous.

Well, there are a few logistical issues for the eggheads at Piaggio’s ‘Fast Forward’ arm to iron out. But they’re likely to be solved in the business-based pilot tests that it’s planning to run in the ‘near future’. Once the Gita has smashed into a few trees and run over a CEO’s foot, we consumers will benefit from a refined version sometime after that.

Hmm, I think I know what that means…

Ye of little gadget faith – these cargo bots are no vaporware. In fact, there is a kind of robot wars brewing, with Just Eat delivering a takeaway to a gloriously lazy person in Greenwich only last month with the Starship delivery ‘bot. They’re practical too, with a three-hour charge seeing the Gita last a good eight hours at walking speed. All it needs is a bit of tweaking and robot domestication. Look out for the Gita’s big reveal on Thursday 2nd February.