Gita the Robot Can Now Help You Carry Shopping Bags

Gita, which means "short trip" in Italian, was developed by robotics company Piaggio Fast Forward. It can follow its human using recognition technology through built-in cameras.

Struggle to carry shopping bags? Consider Gita, a robot companion that'll do it.

Gita, which means "short trip" in Italian, was developed by robotics company Piaggio Fast Forward and is being tested in Newcastle, England, by the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing.

"Gita is a first of a kind, a carrying, following robot," said Professor Nic Palmarini, director at the National Innovation Centre.

The robot can follow its human using recognition technology through built-in cameras.

It can carry nearly 40 pounds of cargo in a lockable storage hold and Gita even doubles as a seat, so people don't have to either carry their stuff or stand.

"Well, it would be great to have something to carry your shopping," one Gita tester named Carol said. "Have your hands free, particularly if it's a bad day and you're dealing with an umbrella, and your phone, and your purse and things, and somewhere to store it safely, your stuff.

"And handy to have something to sit on if you've had enough or you want to sit down when you're shopping," she continued.

But don't get too comfortable. The point of Gita is to encourage people to exercise more.

"One good rule of longevity, of living healthier, longer life is just to walk," Palmarini said. "We should have to take at least 10,000 steps a day, so why instead of keep on generating objects and devices on top of which we sit and they bring us somewhere?

"Why don't we empower ourselves to walk more?" he continued. "And that's what we think is very interesting as a different approach to leverage the most innovative technology, machine learning, and robots, to allow people to walk more."

The shop bot, which costs about $103 a month, isn't ready just yet. But when it is, it may be a regular fixture in markets. 

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