Somerville company sees endless possibilities for personal cargo robot

BOSTON — A local company thinks consumers could use a hand, so they've designed a robot that will follow you around carrying your stuff.

But that's just the beginning of a cool and quirky invention.

Gita, as she is called, draws curious reaction

“People are always saying, ‘where can I get one?’ ‘What does it do?’ ‘Can I pet it?’” CEO Jeffrey Schnapp told FOX25.

Piaggio Fast Forward is the company behind Gita.

“They're cute, they're sexy. People want to know more,” Schnapp said.

Gita is an Italian word for a short trip and Schnapp says that's exactly what this robot is designed for.

“What we're particularly interested in is the idea that people, with their hands free, could walk around the world and be followed by a vehicle that allows them to carry much heavier stuff than they're able to likely to carry in a backpack,” said Schnapp.

Gita can follow you just about anywhere and can fit about 40 pounds of cargo inside. She can also be programmed to be sent off on her own.

Let's say it’s a Saturday. You've got errands to run, but you want to go out afterward. You just have Gita follow you around. All your stuff can go inside. When you're done, you can send her off home and you can go on with your day.

“Gitas are also capable of forming platoons, a convoy, so you can be like the mother duck who's followed by her ducklings,” said Schnapp.

Scnapp says the applications are endless: tenants could sign them out at apartment buildings to go grocery shopping, companies could use them as couriers, grocery stores could even use them for deliveries.

Schnapp says getting more people out of their vehicles and on their feet will improve the quality of life.

“At the core of our vehicles is the ambition to imagine a future of cities where the pedestrian is king," he said.

Piaggio Fast Forward doesn't yet know how much Gita will cost, but they'll begin selling them in the commercial market next year.

In 2019, they'll be available to consumers.