The initial testing grounds for Digit will be Amazon’s robotics research and development facility located just south of Seattle. This development represents a significant expansion of the partnership between Agility Robotics and Amazon, with Agility already being a part of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund.
Digit is a versatile robot specially designed for logistics tasks. It boasts the ability to navigate, grasp, and manipulate objects in the tightest corners and spaces within a warehouse. Its dimensions and form are aligned with human-centric structures, making it a fit for buildings designed for people. Both Agility Robotics and Amazon recognize the potential in scaling a mobile manipulator solution like Digit, which can work hand in hand with human employees, enhancing workplace safety.
Amazon’s initial implementation of Digit will be to assist employees in the task of tote recycling. This process involves the repetitive task of picking up and relocating empty totes once their inventory has been entirely depleted.
Damion Shelton, the co-founder and CEO of Agility Robotics, expressed his perspective on this collaboration, stating, “Amazon is a company that is committed to making the work experience of their employees safer, easier, and less repetitive. When we announced our most recent version of Digit earlier this year, this is exactly the type of repetitive material handling deployment we had in mind; one that enables humans to be more human.”
Emily Vetterick, Amazon’s Director of Engineering, added her insight, “Digit’s size and shape are well-suited for buildings that are designed for humans, and we believe that there is a big opportunity to scale a mobile manipulator solution. Collaborative robotics solutions like Digit support workplace safety and help Amazon deliver to customers faster, while creating new opportunities and career paths for our employees.”
Digit is a product tailored to coexist with humans, designed from the ground up to operate safely in spaces meant for people. Its human-centric design enables a wide range of applications. Initial uses include bulk material handling within warehouses and distribution centers. Customers enrolled in the Agility Partner Program can anticipate the delivery of the first Digits in 2024, with general availability in the market expected in 2025.
In addition to this development, Agility Robotics has announced its forthcoming RoboFab™, a 70,000 square foot robot manufacturing facility in Salem, Oregon. The company foresees a production capacity that could reach hundreds of Digit robots in the first year, with the potential to scale up to 10,000 robots annually. Digit will play an active role in the new factory, much like its role at Agility’s customer sites, efficiently moving, loading, and unloading totes.