First Human Robot Factory Set to Deploy Workers in 2024

Web DeskSeptember 20, 20235413 min
First Human Robot Factory Set to Deploy Workers in 2024

Agility Robotics is nearing completion of a cutting-edge 70,000-square-foot facility in Salem, Oregon, named “RoboFab.” This advanced plant is poised to manufacture over 10,000 units annually of Agility’s humanoid robot, Digit, designed to collaborate with human workers in factory settings.

The RoboFab facility is set to commence operations later this year, with customer deliveries expected to start in 2024, followed by general market availability in 2025. In its inaugural year, Agility aims to produce “hundreds” of Digit robots, with plans for expansion in subsequent years.

Aindrea Campbell, Agility’s Chief Operating Officer, likened RoboFab to Henry Ford’s historic automobile factory, stating that this marks the dawn of the world’s first humanoid robot factory, with the potential for humanoid robots to become ubiquitous globally, similar to automobiles.

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Digit, standing at 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing around 65kg, features claw-like gripper hands capable of handling loads up to 16 kg. It boasts autonomous recharging, enabling it to operate for up to 16 out of 24 hours, equivalent to two full-time shifts.

Digit’s locomotion system resembles that of a bird, akin to Agility’s Cassie robot, which made headlines by setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100-meter sprint by a bipedal robot in 2022.

Digit’s unique design allows it to fold its legs quietly and squat down to lift objects efficiently. Control is achieved through a gamepad-style tablet, which also serves as an emergency shutdown device. It can be pre-programmed for various tasks related to handling and moving objects.

Agility is experimenting with large language model (LLM) AIs to enable Digit to respond autonomously to natural language verbal commands. Initially, Digit will be deployed for box and tote relocation within Agility’s facility and its early clients’ locations, with plans to expand into loading and unloading trucks.

While there is limited discussion of more complex tasks, Agility intends to focus on early use cases for Digit before branching into more intricate applications.

 

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