Digit will first be tested at Amazon’s robotics research and development facility just south of Seattle. This development broadens the relationship between the two companies, as Agility is already part of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund.
Digit is the first human-centric, multi-purpose robot made for logistics work. Digit can move, grasp, and handle items in spaces and corners of a warehouse in novel ways. Its size and shape are well-suited for buildings that are designed for humans. Both companies believe that there is a big opportunity to scale a mobile manipulator solution such as Digit, which can work collaboratively with employees and help support workplace safety.
Amazon’s initial use of Digit will be to help employees with tote recycling; a highly repetitive process of picking up and moving empty totes once inventory has been completely picked out of them.
“Amazon is a company that is committed to making the work experience of their employees safer, easier, and less repetitive,” said Damion Shelton, co-founder and CEO of Agility Robotics. “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.”
“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,” according to Emily Vetterick, Amazon Director of Engineering. “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 designed from the ground up to go where people go and do useful work, safely, in spaces designed for people. Because so many tasks are designed around human workflows, Digit’s human-centric design enables multi-purpose utility. Initial applications include bulk material handling within warehouses and distribution centers. Customers in the Agility Partner Program can expect delivery of the first Digits in 2024, with general market availability in 2025.
Agility recently announced that the company is opening RoboFab™, a 70,000 square foot robot manufacturing facility in Salem, Oregon. Agility anticipates production capacity of hundreds of Digit robots in the first year, with the capability to scale to more than 10,000 robots per year. Digit also will work in the new factory, in a similar capacity to Agility’s customer sites, moving, loading, and unloading totes.