How Might Sidewalk Robots Help Solve the Last Mile Problem?
Focus: Develop a sidewalk cargo robot for the last mile problem
Role: Founding Team, Chief Design Research Officer, Piaggio Global
2015 - 2018
Recognition: Funded by Piaggio Global, multiple patents, various awards (Design Boom Top 10 Robots of 2017, Spark Design Awards, Extreme Tech Awards, MITx “Disruptive Genius: Company”, finalist for the London Design Museum’s Beazley Design of the Year Award, etc)
Visit the website.
Note: A lot of client work happens under NDA. The project information described here is all publicly available.
Gita is the human-helping, cargo-carrying robot that I led research and design for from when we founded the company in 2015 until we launched two robots, Gita and Kilo, in 2017. Read here about my role in the company alongside the founding PFF CEO (who is also a Harvard colleague), Professor Jeffrey Schnapp.
PFF launched Gita publicly in February 2017, led to a number of patents, and it has since won several awards (Design Boom Top 10 Robots of 2017, Spark Design Awards, Extreme Tech Awards, MITx “Disruptive Genius: Company”, finalist for the London Design Museum’s Beazley Design of the Year Award, and more) and been featured in The Atlantic, Time, CNN, Wired, the Wall Street Journal and others.
After PFF shifted its focus to scaling global production, I moved to an ongoing advisory role and returned my focus to other projects. For more about Gita and the current team behind it, visit the PFF website.
Check out CNN Money’s article about Piaggio Fast Forward’s robot:
About the origin of PFF:
The complexity of today's networks and information systems has increased the need for autonomy, intelligence, and frequency in new forms of mobility. Founded in 2015 to solve the needs of today's changing urban environments, PFF leverages more than a century of Piaggio's experience in lightweight transportation of people and goods. Piaggio is a pioneer in the lightwight transportation sector whose portfolio consists of some of the most distinguished brands in the industry including Gilera® Moto Guzzi® Aprilia® and Vespa®. Decades ago, Piaggio invented the Vespa® and Ape® as intermediate scaled devices between a helicopter and a car. They were designed to facilitate mobility without a reliance on pre-existing infrastructure. Now, PFF is applying this knowledge and experience to the contemporary world.
Video credit: CNN Money