A robotic backpack that follows you wherever you roam

In 2019, Piaggio Fast Forward released the first version of a robotic pedestrian cargo bag, called the Gita. And now, two years later, the company is preparing to launch a smaller and smarter version of this bag called the Gitamini this October. The original Gita came with a payload volume of nearly 2,000 cubic inches and was capable of carrying up to 44 pounds of equipment and walking at a top speed of 22 miles per hour.

It is a machine so large that it can hold shopping carts and bicycles. However, Gita's size made it a liability to other pedestrians when navigating crowded sidewalks, especially earlier versions that relied on a belt-mounted tracker to find out where their owners were. 

The Gitamini, on the other hand, comes with a payload volume of 990 cubic inches, and it weighs just 28 pounds. This bag can carry up to 20 pounds of equipment, and thanks to the external handles it can easily be lifted over curbs, stairs and other obstacles even when fully packed.

The Gitamini is rated with a maximum range of 21 miles, or about six hours of use before needing a recharge. With the push of a button on the panel, the bag will be able to easily find, identify and track its owner using visual and radar cues such as color and movement. It is worth noting that the bag does not require a GPS, cellular or wireless connection in order to do so.

It is also equipped with what the company calls a pedestrian etiquette program, which trains the robot to follow its owner at a safe distance and speed while proactively anticipating the movements of people around it. The wheels of the suitcase are operated independently, while a third motor is assigned to keep the robot in balance when accelerating and braking.

The Gitamini is set to go on sale for $1,850 on October 15, while the original Gita will see a price drop to $3,250.

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