Grocery-carrying robots are coming. Do we need them?

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Sunday, November 24 2019 Nov 24, 2019 November 24, 2019 11:04 PM November 24, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

AP Technology Writer

BOSTON (AP) - The first cargo-carrying robot marketed directly to consumers is on sale this holiday season.

Corporate giants like Amazon, FedEx and Ford and some food-on-demand startups have already been experimenting with sending delivery robots to doorsteps.

Now the Italian company that makes the Vespa scooter is offering a stylish alternative to those blandly utilitarian machines.

It’s named the Gita (JEE’-tah) after the Italian word for a short, pleasurable excursion. Its makers describe it as a “hands-free carrier” that can hold produce and other objects as it follows its owner down a sidewalk.

Given its $3,250 price tag, however, tech industry analysts are already declaring the Gita as doomed to fail. They say the Gita needs a more practical application, such as lugging tools around warehouses, hospitals or factory floors.

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