Tech and Telecom

World’s First Human Robot Factory Will Start Deploying Workers Next Year

Agility Robotics is currently in the advanced stages of constructing a 70,000-square-foot (6,503-square-meter) facility located in Salem, Oregon.

This state-of-the-art facility has the capability to produce over 10,000 units annually of Agility’s humanoid robot, Digit, which is designed to collaborate with humans on the factory floor.

The new manufacturing plant, referred to as “RoboFab,” is scheduled to commence operations later this year, with customer deliveries anticipated to begin in 2024. “General market availability” is projected to kick off in 2025. In its inaugural year, Agility aims to manufacture “hundreds” of Digit humanoids and subsequently expand production from there.

Aindrea Campbell, the Chief Operating Officer at Agility, draws parallels between the RoboFab factory and Henry Ford’s pioneering manufacturing operation in the video provided below.

Here is what she said:

There was a point in time over a hundred years ago, when we had the world’s first automobile factory. I think this is the same moment where we’re now having the world’s first humanoid robot factory, and someday, just like automobiles, humanoid robots will be all around the globe.

What is Digit?

Standing at a height of 5 feet 9 inches and weighing approximately 65kg, this bipedal robot is equipped with a pair of claw-like gripper hands capable of carrying loads up to 16 kg. Impressively, it autonomously recharges itself, allowing it to potentially remain operational for 16 out of 24 hours, equivalent to covering two full-time shifts.

Here is what it looks like.

Its locomotion system features a set of legs resembling those of a bird, similar to the design used in the company’s Cassie robot. Notably, Cassie made headlines in 2022 by breaking the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100-meter sprint by a bipedal robot.

Cassie robot

Both robots share a configuration with short upper legs typically positioned forward in a knees-up posture, followed by elongated “calves” extending behind the torso. At the top of the legs, there is a high ankle joint in place of a conventional knee, leading down to relatively small toe pads in contact with the ground.

Digit possesses several notable advantages. Firstly, it can effortlessly fold its legs behind itself, a feat that would result in substantial noise for the average human. Additionally, it has the ability to squat down in front of shelves to grasp boxes without its knees protruding forward, allowing it to lift objects with minimal need to lean forward.

Control of Digit is facilitated through a gamepad-style tablet, which also serves as an emergency shutdown initiator. Furthermore, it can be pre-programmed with a variety of tasks, primarily revolving around activities related to handling and moving objects.

An intriguing development in recent months involves Agility’s experimentation with large language model (LLM) AIs. This experimentation aims to enable Digit to autonomously generate programming responses to natural language verbal commands, as demonstrated in the video below.

Digit will initially be deployed for the purpose of relocating boxes and totes within Agility’s own manufacturing facility, as well as those of its initial clients. Subsequently, the company has ambitions to expand its capabilities to include the loading and unloading of trucks.

Currently, there is limited discussion of more intricate tasks, indicating that Agility intends to maintain a narrow focus on early use cases for the time being.

Via: New Atlas

Published by
Aasil Ahmed