Robots can spread a special kind of magic as they reflect and at times even surpass the abilities of humans. gita is a following mobile robot designed to attentively accompany an individual while carrying up to 20 kg of cargo, such as groceries. The robot’s overall round shape expresses its ability to spin in place and move in all directions, although it clearly has a distinct front, back and sides. Its rounded surfaces and lack of corners are slippery for moving past and around people. The front has a sensor array with prominent lenses oriented forward and to the sides. This gives the robot a wide field of view to sense both the user who it is following as well as bystanders. Since its two motors drive the right and left wheels at different speed and direction, the robot has a zero turning radius. The robot gently leans forward before it takes off and leans back before it stops. In addition, it is self-balancing and thanks to its large wheels able to move quickly and nimbly enough to keep up with people. Although gita uses state-of-the-art technology, users interact with it through just two buttons. This keeps the hands and eyes of the robot’s user free – allowing them to move freely and look at their environment with unrestrained awareness.
Statement by the Jury
The highly advanced functionality and direct approach of interaction define the gita cargo robot as a smart companion that immediately evokes acceptance among people. The well-balanced, round shape and the independently moving off-centre wheels make the robot quite fast and highly agile. Its innovative, clear design is impressive also in that it is easy to operate via just two buttons without a display to make it faithfully follow its user.