08. 15. 2022
8 min read

A word from our engineers

gitamini, the following cargo-carrying robot, is truly one of a kind. It was designed with pedestrian etiquette and moves the way that humans do. Its sleek design and autonomous behaviors allow it to seamlessly integrate into your everyday life with the touch of a button. But how exactly does it work and how exactly was it made? We asked the brains of the operation, the Piaggio Fast Forward engineers, all about gitamini and the following technology that makes it so magical. Here’s what Milan, Robotics Software Engineer, had to say:

How far has the design and functionality of gitamini come since you started at PFF?

When I joined the Autonomy Team at PFF in January 2021, gitamini was in its infancy and it had just started spinning its wheels. Our office was its only home. Fast forward to today, it's available for anyone to take home. From my first code submission to the latest, the software has evolved immensely:

  • A better tracking architecture than ever before

  • A more comprehensive methodology for evaluating the tracking performance

  • Most importantly, the first autonomous behavior: door detection and traversal

What’s your favorite feature of gitamini? Visually and/or technologically.

I like how it follows people without using any external devices or markers. The only thing that the gitamini needs is the person in front of it. Thanks to its ingenious software and hardware, it does an excellent job following.

What’s a feature or ability that gitamini has that consumers may not notice is a big part of the design?

The Simple Interface. Last October, when I attended MassRobotics Block Party at Boston Seaport, I got an opportunity to interact with a variety of people and see what they think of a product that I work on every single day. One thing that I noticed was that everyone thought using gitamini was a piece of cake, whether that person was eight years old or eighty. Under the hood, a lot is going on with software and hardware but we have been able to make it work with a touch of a button!

What has been your favorite part about being part of the team that designs these robots? 

My favorite part is getting to work with all the talented and smart individuals who are always happy to help each other. Even though the Autonomy Team is small, we have accomplished a lot and I'm proud of it!

Where do you see following technology going in the future?

I see us using more sensors to improve tracking in difficult situations like very sunny environments. I also see us continuing to improve the user experience with advanced autonomous behaviors, like doors.

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