When Henry Ford first introduced the assembly line in the manufacturing industry in 1913, it was seen as a revolutionary in the workforce. This type of operation in factories and warehouses was able to cut down manufacturing time and labor time significantly. However, working in an assembly line entails doing menial tasks day in and day out, which could get quite dull and sometimes even place employees in dreary conditions depending on the industry. Agility Robotics, one of the world’s leading companies in robotics, has sought a solution to this by creating ‘Digit’ — a bipedal robot made to help in routinary warehouse tasks and jobs.
By a fateful coincidence, Agility Robotics actually announced their partnership with Ford in 2020 after introducing Digit for the first time. True to Agility Robotics’ mission to build robots that help businesses and people thrive, Digit is designed to be a plug-and-play robot that can operate on its own after it has been programmed by an Agility Robotics representative.
The Chief Technology of Agility Robotics, Jonathan Hurst, shares that the main value and goal of Digit is its generality. “It’s a robot that can operate in human environments and spaces. It’s a relatively straightforward thing for very structured, repetitive tasks, to say, ‘there’s going to be boxes over there. We’re going to tell you which one from a databasing system, and we want you to move it over there.’”, says Hurst.
Agility Robotics has yet to share the exact number of Digits sold, but its sales of the bipedal robot are currently largely CapEx with future plans on exploring RaaS (robotics-as-a-service-model). Given the current track record and rapid growth of Agility Robotics, a company just founded in 2015, Digit shows a lot of promise in becoming an employee of the month in many warehouses in the nearby future. After all, it is not the first time we have heard of robots being hired to join the workforce.