Agility Robotics, known for its innovative bipedal robot, Digit, has announced the opening of RoboFab, a state-of-the-art robot manufacturing facility located in Salem, Oregon. This facility boasts the capability to produce over 10,000 robots annually. The initial construction of this 70,000-square-foot factory began the previous year, with its inauguration set for later this year. The company's ambitious plans include producing hundreds of Digit robots in its first year, with the potential to ramp up to more than 10,000 robots annually in subsequent years.
Digit: The Future of Humanoid Robots
Designed to operate in human-centric environments, Digit is built to perform tasks in spaces traditionally designed for people. This design approach allows the robot to seamlessly integrate into human workflows, offering multi-purpose utility. Initial applications for Digit include bulk material handling within warehouses and distribution centers. With the new manufacturing facility's inauguration, customers affiliated with the Agility Partner Program (APP) can anticipate the delivery of the first batch of Digits by 2024, with a broader market release slated for 2025.
A Vision for a Robotic Future
Damion Shelton, Agility Robotics' co-founder and CEO, emphasized the significance of this venture, stating, “The opening of our factory marks a pivotal moment in the history of robotics: the beginning of the mass production of commercial humanoid robots.” He further elaborated on the company's mission, highlighting the goal of addressing challenges in the current workforce, such as injuries, burnout, and labor shortages. The overarching vision is to augment the human workforce, allowing humans to focus on tasks that are inherently human, thereby enhancing societal well-being.
While robotics has taken something of a back seat during the rise of AI services, it is worth remembering how closely the two tech fields are linked. AI will underpin the future of advanced robotics. For example, Meta has this year used AI to give robots vision similar to a visual cortex.