In a momentous stride in the arena of AI and robotics, Agility Robotics is nearing the completion of its cutting-edge 70,000-square-foot manufacturing hub, aptly christened “RoboFab,” located in Salem, Oregon. This avant-garde factory, primed to be a world-first, is preparing to roll out over 10,000 units of Agility Robotics’ exceptional humanoid robot, Digit, on an annual basis.
Scheduled to kickstart operations later this year, Agility Robotics envisions delivering Digit robots to customers in 2024, with broader market availability anticipated by 2025.
Digit, an imposing figure standing tall at 175 centimeters (5 feet 9 inches) and weighing around 65 kilograms (141 pounds), represents a groundbreaking bipedal robot endowed with remarkable capabilities. Crafted for versatility, Digit boasts claw-like gripper hands with the capacity to handle loads of up to 16 kilograms (35 pounds) and the autonomy to recharge itself, ensuring it remains operational for up to 16 hours in every 24-hour cycle. Its distinctive leg design, reminiscent of a bird’s, confers extraordinary flexibility upon Digit, enabling it to quietly fold its legs behind itself and squat in front of shelves to effortlessly retrieve objects. These distinctive features set Digit apart as a pioneering robotic platform, ideally suited for seamless collaboration with humans in a myriad of work environments.
Digit’s evolution has seen the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as camera vision and LiDAR. Initially conceived as a concept for parcel delivery by Ford in 2019, Digit has come a long way. While it can be directed using a gamepad-style tablet and programmed for specific tasks, Agility Robotics has embarked on an innovative journey by incorporating Large Language Model (LLM) AIs. This pioneering approach empowers Digit to respond to natural language verbal commands and even self-program in response to human directives. This leap in AI integration holds vast potential for enhancing Digit’s adaptability and extending its applications across diverse industries.
Digit’s inaugural tasks will encompass activities such as relocating boxes and totes within Agility’s own factory and those of early-adopter clients. The company’s future aspirations include having Digit shoulder the responsibilities of loading and unloading trucks, demonstrating the robot’s proficiency in undertaking a range of manual labor roles. While more complex assignments loom on the horizon, Agility Robotics exhibits a steadfast commitment to exploring various practical applications for its humanoid robot.
Though the assertion that RoboFab is the world’s inaugural humanoid robot factory may elicit debate, the emergence of such facilities, including the recent announcement from Chinese company Fourier Intelligence regarding the GT-1, underscores the escalating momentum towards integrating humanoid robots into the workforce.
As an increasing number of companies invest in this transformative technology, it becomes increasingly apparent that the landscape of work is teetering on the brink of a profound transformation. The ascent of humanoid robot workers presents both challenges and opportunities, and as this technology continues to evolve, industries across the globe must brace themselves for adapting to this changing terrain.
Be prepared for change as the future of work enters a novel epoch with humanoid robots like Digit poised to step onto the global stage.
Source: Agility Robotics