Agility Robotics develops humanoid delivery robot

A humanoid last mile delivery robot has been developed by Agility Robotics and Ford.

The Digit robot has arms and legs and has been developed to work alongside humans and in human spaces. Agility Robotics is working with Ford Commercial Vehicles to develop the solution. Ford has bought the first two Digit robots, and has been working with Agility since May last year.

Between them the two companies are looking at how the Digit can be used in last-mile delivery as well as other situations such as first-mile and last-50ft logistics.

Communications are core to the development of these systems. Ford’s connected vehicles can update cloud-based mapping that can be shared with Digit so it doesn’t have to recreate the same information.

As part of a last-mile delivery service, Agility Robotics and Ford believe that this communication system will provide delivery-specific information including preferred locations for a parcel to be left and other package-specific information. Should Digit encounter a problem, it would be able to ask for help through this channel.

“As online retailing continues to grow, we believe robots will help our commercial customers build stronger businesses by making deliveries more efficient and affordable for all of us.” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, and chief technology officer. “We learned a lot this year working with Agility, now we can accelerate our exploratory work with commercial Digit robots.”

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