Agility Robotics, the creator of the revolutionary bipedal robot Digit, has announced that Amazon will commence testing of Digit for use in their operations. This marks a significant expansion of the relationship between the two companies, as Agility is already a part of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund.
Digit, the first humanoid robot designed specifically for logistics work, will initially be tested at Amazon’s robotics research and development facility located just south of Seattle. The robot is uniquely designed to move, grasp, and handle items in warehouses, even in tight spaces and corners. Its human-like size and shape make it an ideal fit for buildings designed for human occupancy. Both Amazon and Agility Robotics believe that there is a substantial opportunity to scale up solutions like Digit, which can work collaboratively with employees and contribute to workplace safety.
Amazon plans to deploy Digit initially to assist employees with tote recycling, a repetitive process involving the picking up and moving of empty totes once inventory has been completely picked from them. Damion Shelton, co-founder and CEO of Agility Robotics, expressed his enthusiasm about this development, stating, “When we announced our most recent version of Digit earlier this year, this is exactly the type of repetitive material handling deployment we had in mind; one that enables humans to be more human.”
Emily Vetterick, Amazon Director of Engineering, echoed these sentiments: “Digit’s size and shape are well-suited for buildings that are designed for humans, and we believe that there is a big opportunity to scale a mobile manipulator solution,” according to Emily Vetterick, Amazon Director of Engineering. “Collaborative robotics solutions like Digit support workplace safety and help Amazon deliver to customers faster, while creating new opportunities and career paths for our employees.”
Digit’s design allows it to navigate spaces designed for people and perform useful work safely. Its human-centric design makes it versatile, with initial applications including bulk material handling within warehouses and distribution centers. Customers participating in the Agility Partner Program can expect delivery of the first Digits in 2024, with general market availability slated for 2025.
Agility Robotics recently made headlines with the announcement of the opening of RoboFab™, a first-of-its-kind robot manufacturing facility in Salem, Oregon. The 70,000 square foot factory is expected to produce hundreds of Digit robots in its first year, with the capacity to scale up to more than 10,000 robots per year.