Grocery-carrying robots are coming. Do we need them?

BOSTON — The first cargo-carrying robot marketed directly to consumers is on sale this holiday season.

Corporate giants like Amazon, FedEx and Ford and some food-on-demand startups have already been experimenting with sending delivery robots to doorsteps.

Now the Italian company that makes the Vespa scooter is offering a stylish alternative to those blandly utilitarian machines.

It’s named the Gita (JEE’-tah) after the Italian word for a short, pleasurable excursion. Its makers describe it as a “hands-free carrier” that can hold produce and other objects as it follows its owner down a sidewalk.

Given its $3,250 price tag, however, tech industry analysts are already declaring the Gita as doomed to fail. They say the Gita needs a more practical application, such as lugging tools around warehouses, hospitals or factory floors.

Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press