Flying might be the most nerve-wracking way to travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, so Philadelphia International Airport is using a robot called Gita to provide contactless delivery of food and drinks to passengers.
More than a dozen restaurants from California Pizza Kitchen to Smashburger to local favorite Chickie and Pete's are using the Gita, which is Italian for "short trip" and is made by Piaggio Fast Forward, a company founded by the Italian group that created Vespa scooters.
“With businesses looking for more contactless experiences, Gita took on a new role during COVID to move things within the airport environment for employees, vendors and travelers – hands-free,” Piaggio Fast Forward CEO Greg Lynn explained in a statement released by the airport.
Once a traveler places a delivery order, they can enter specifics about their location anywhere in the airport.
An onsite delivery specialist walks with the Gita to the person's location, where the traveler can choose the level of contact they want. For instance, the traveler can choose for the delivery specialist to open up the top of the Gita and walk six feet away for a smooth and contactless delivery.
Philadelphia International Airport's use of Gita is currently in a pilot phase through April, at which point they will decide how to keep using the robots.