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World's first 'humanoid' robot factory will be capable of creating 10,000 robots per year

Emily Brown

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World's first 'humanoid' robot factory will be capable of creating 10,000 robots per year

Featured Image Credit: AGILITY ROBOTICS

If AI images are enough to make you uneasy then look away now, because there's a robot factory on its way with the capability of producing 10,000 'humanoid' robots a year.

Anyone else imagining that scene in iRobot where they're all lined up in rows?

I'm not sure if that's exactly what it will look like at Agility Robotics' new factory, but the company will certainly be able to start churning out robots when the 'RoboFab' factory opens later this year.

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RoboFab comes from the same company that brought us the bipedal robot named Digit; a human-sized robot with two LED 'eyes' and the capability of carrying out 'useful work safely in spaces designed for people'.

Discussing Digit's advancements earlier this year, Damion Shelton, co-founder and CEO of Agility Robotics, said: "Three years ago, we introduced the first commercially available bi-pedal robot with a human form factor made for work.

"Since then, we have seen enormous interest in Digit from multinational logistics companies, and have worked closely with them to understand how they want to use Digit to improve warehouse and supply chain operations.

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"We designed the next generation of Digit with those customer use cases in mind."

Agility Robotics created the humanoid robot Digit. Credit: Agility Robotics
Agility Robotics created the humanoid robot Digit. Credit: Agility Robotics

The company is now taking its ideas one step further as it prepares to open its 70,000-square-foot facility and mark the beginning of the mass production of commercial humanoid robots.

Located in southeast Salem, Oregon, RoboFab is located near other industrial hubs, like the Amazon Fulfillment Center. Construction is already underway on the factory ahead of its expected opening in late 2023.

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“We built Digit to solve difficult problems in today’s workforce like injuries, burnout, high turnover and unfillable labor gaps, with the ultimate vision of enabling humans to be more human," Shelton said.

"When you’re building new technology to make society better, the most important milestone is when you’re able to mass produce that technology at a scale where it can have a real, widespread impact.”

Agility Robotics expects it will produce 'hundreds of Digit robots in the first year, with the capability to scale to more than 10,000 robots per year'.

The robots will be able to work in spaces designed for humans. Credit: Agility Robotics
The robots will be able to work in spaces designed for humans. Credit: Agility Robotics
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As well as creating robots that can carry out work, RoboFab will employ more than 500 (human) workers in Salem.

Of course, there has to be a spot for Digit too, and the robot will work alongside its human co-workers in the new factory where it will move, load, and unload totes.

With the factory on the way, customers taking part in the company's Agility Partner Program will expect to get their hands on the first mass-produced Digits in 2024, before general market availability in 2025.

Topics: Technology, US News, Robotics

Emily Brown
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