Amazon to Test Agility Robotics’ Digit for Warehouse Operations

In a significant move that could potentially revolutionize the logistics industry, Amazon has announced plans to commence testing of Agility Robotics’ revolutionary bipedal robot, Digit. This development is set to occur at Amazon’s robotics research and development facility located just south of Seattle. This move not only strengthens the existing relationship between Amazon and Agility Robotics but also marks a significant milestone for the latter, which is part of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund.

Digit, the first human-centric, multi-purpose robot designed specifically for logistics work, is set to redefine the way operations are carried out in warehouses. It has been meticulously designed to maneuver, grasp, and handle items in various spaces and corners of a warehouse, offering a fresh perspective on logistics operations. Its size and shape make it an ideal fit for buildings that are constructed for human use.

Both Amazon and Agility Robotics see tremendous potential in scaling mobile manipulator solutions like Digit, which can work in tandem with employees, enhancing workplace safety. Amazon plans to initially deploy Digit to assist employees with tote recycling, a repetitive process that involves picking up and moving empty totes after the inventory has been fully picked from them.

Agility Robotics’ CEO and co-founder, Damion Shelton, expressed his excitement about the collaboration with Amazon. He emphasized that the vision behind Digit’s creation was to simplify repetitive material handling tasks, allowing humans to focus on more intricate tasks that require human touch and creativity.

Echoing similar sentiments, Emily Vetterick, Amazon’s Director of Engineering, stated that collaborative robotics solutions like Digit not only enhance workplace safety but also speed up delivery times for customers. She further added that such innovative solutions create new opportunities and career paths for their employees.

Designed from scratch to operate in spaces meant for humans, Digit’s human-centric design enables it to carry out multiple tasks efficiently. The robot’s initial applications are expected to be in bulk material handling within warehouses and distribution centers. Customers who are part of the Agility Partner Program can look forward to receiving the first batch of Digits in 2024, with general market availability slated for 2025.

Agility Robotics recently announced the opening of RoboFab, a 70,000 square foot robot manufacturing facility located in Salem, Oregon. The company anticipates a production capacity of hundreds of Digit robots in the first year, with the potential to scale up to more than 10,000 robots annually. Digit will also be deployed in the new factory, where it will carry out tasks similar to those at Agility’s customer sites, such as moving, loading, and unloading totes.

With its headquarters in Corvallis, Oregon, and offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Palo Alto, California, Agility Robotics is on a mission to build robot partners that augment the human workforce. Their groundbreaking bipedal robot Digit is the first multi-purpose, human-centric robot designed for work. Agility Robotics, along with its innovative products like Digit, are paving the way for a future where robots and humans work together to achieve common goals. This aligns perfectly with the ever-evolving world of electronics and computers, where coding and programming languages are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.