Agility Robotics is preparing to open a new factory in Salem, Oregon, where it will mass-produce its line of humanoid robots known as Digit. The factory, named the “RoboFab,” will have an annual production capacity of up to 10,000 units and is expected to employ over 500 people. Digit, designed to function as a “robotic co-worker,” has the ability to navigate warehouses and factories, including traversing steps and fitting into small spaces.
The new factory is the first of its kind, spanning 70,000 square feet, and is a significant endeavor for Agility Robotics. COO Aindrea Campbell, formerly of Apple and Ford, noted that the production lines are being installed and tested as part of a gradual ramp-up process. Despite potential competition from other companies, Agility Robotics has managed to complete the development of its prototypes and establish a factory for mass production.
Digit robots are designed with a human-like form factor, equipped with two legs and two arms, to enable them to lift, sort, and maneuver while maintaining balance. Their design allows them to operate in environments with structural limitations that would otherwise hinder the use of robotics. Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, Digit robots do not have traditional human-style hands but rather hands resembling claws or mittens. Agility Robotics plans to utilize the robots in their own factory for material transportation purposes.
There are concerns about how this technology might impact job opportunities for humans. However, Damion Shelton, CEO and co-founder of Agility Robotics, believes that Digit robots can help businesses meet growing demands as recruitment remains challenging, and many workers retire or leave the industry. Matt Ocko, managing partner at DCVC and an investor in Agility, believes that Digit robots can fill the void in roles that humans do not want to undertake.
Overall, Agility Robotics aims to establish a safe and autonomous relationship between humans and robots, facilitating efficient and productive collaboration in manufacturing and logistics industries.