The company started with a team of researchers and designers, and looked at how people moved, current trends in mobility and the needs that weren’t being met. They approached the design from a perspective of what do people want and need, as opposed to creating an engineering marvel. The focus was to augment a human’s abilities, not replace them. The design inspiration was to create something intuitive, memorable and expressive of its time.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF) is pioneering the intelligent movement of people and goods. Gita ("jee-ta") is the first culmination of this vision. Gita is an intelligent, robotic vehicle that extends a person's cargo-carrying abilities. What is unique about the design is the integration of engineering and performance into an elegant form. The parent company is the maker of the legendary Vespa; Gita is inspired by that heritage, with an approachable, recognizable and attractive design.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Gita has a few different modes of operation. The first is follow mode. Gita learns how to navigate complex spaces by following a person as it travels, creating a 3D map of its surroundings. Second, is an autonomous mode. In environments Gita has already explored, it can move independently between waypoints. Gita detects and avoids obstacles should any features of the real world not coincide with its existing maps.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
It took PFF 8 months from concept to prototype to Gita’s launch on February 2, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Unlike most robots that have a metal frame, Gita is made of carbon-fiber (the same material used in the America's Cup racing boats) to create a vehicle that integrates structure and performance. PFF also approach design and production from a contemporary manufacturing process, one that includes an on-demand production method. They don’t carry a lot of inventory, nor ship parts around the world. In addition to carbon fiber, 3D printing technology is used to build Gita.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Dimensions: 24 inches wide, from side to side. 26 inches tall with the lid closed. 26 inches from front to back. Cargo Capacity: Volume of 2000 cubic inches. 40 pounds. Battery Life: 8 hours of use following a person at walking pace. Top Speed of 22 MPH. Gita’s primary navigation system is a pair of stereoscopic cameras mounted on the front and back of the robot, with which it’s constantly performing visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping).
Autonomous vehicle, robot, transportation, human, ergonomic, lifestyle accessory
During the research period over the course of 12-18 months, the chief research officer led a team of up to 10-12 researchers. They researched the markets, users needs, trends in vehicles and robotics and shaped the brief for the product. They pioneered the comparative, visual and SLAM navigation for both indoor and outdoor use. They validated their research with bench and real-world testing during a 6 months period.
With the goal of creating a refined design that carries an aura of simplicity, the main design challenge was to eliminate redundancy and any superfluous aspects to design. In addition, from a technical perspective on the design, the team overcame navigation challenges in designing a robot a mere two feet off the ground and that can follow a human five plus feet in height.
TEAM MEMBERS (5) :
Chief Creative Officer: Greg Lynn , Designer: Rossitza Kotelova, Graphic Designer: Jamar Bromley , Mobility Prototyping Designer: Nazareth Ekmekjian and CEO: Jeffrey Schnapp
Greg Lynn, 2016.