Can Sidewalk Robots Solve the Last Mile Problem?
Gita is the human-helping, cargo-carrying robot that our lab director has been leading research and design for since 2015. Altringer led design research for the company from 2015-2017 as one of the four founding team members, alongside PFF CEO and Harvard colleague, Professor Jeffrey Schnapp. PFF launched Gita publicly in February 2017 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. PFF is a Boston-based lightweight mobility and robotics company funded by the Piaggio Group. Piaggio Group owns Vespa and several well-known lightweight vehicle companies. PFF has a vision of cities where people and goods move around at a human scale, rather than an automobile scale, and where robots are designed to extend human capacity, not replace it. After PFF shifted its focus from research and design to scaling production, in October 2017, Altringer shifted from the leadership team to an ongoing advisory role to make room for a new big project. For more about Gita and the team behind it, visit the PFF website.