Agility Robotics has taken the wraps off its next-gen bipedal bot, which comes with some notable upgrades, namely a cylindrical head and two animated LED eyes. In a press releasethe company says it made the changes to its warehouse-friendly bot, called Digit, to improve “human robot interaction.”
Agility Robotics first introduced the once decapitated Digit in 2020, marketing the machine as usable in a wide variety of industries, such as logistics, industrial inspection and telepresence. The bot is also made to work in the same area and take up the same amount of space as humans, which is why it is five feet tall and walks on two legs.
Digit’s latest upgrades aren’t just cosmetic. a says a company spokesperson TechCrunch that its sensor-equipped head should make it easier for people to understand Digit’s actions, like his eyes “will help convey useful information such as changing direction and other actions on the job.” It also comes with some redesigned end effectors, or hands, that should make it easier to pick up the plastic bins used in warehouses.
For the time being, however, the possibilities of Digit remain quite limited. While it can walk, step on sidewalks, crouch and perform other simple actions, its main function is to pick up and put down various types of objects weighing up to 35 pounds. You can see the bot in action in the demos the company posted on Twitter and YouTubewhich show Digit walking up to a shelf, removing a bin, and then sliding it onto the conveyor belt.
It’s not clear how much it will cost companies seeking access to the bot, but Agility Robotics is opening its Agility Partner Program, which “will provide partners with an exclusive opportunity to shape the development of Digit’s skills and capabilities, and will initially be the only way to purchase the latest generation of Digi.”