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MIT Technology Review

A two-legged delivery robot has gone on sale—and Ford is the first customer

A two-legged robot holding a packageA two-legged robot holding a package

The news: US startup Agility Robotics has just made its two-legged robot Digit available to buy for the first time. The first customer is car giant Ford, which has been testing the robot for vehicle-to-door delivery since May 2019. 

Digit’s digits: It’s similar in size to a small adult, able to carry items weighing up to 40 pounds (18 kilograms), and can navigate semi-autonomously, using cameras and lidar sensors. The robot is able to pick boxes up and put them down without guidance, but tasks like avoiding obstacles still require help from humans via a teleoperation system. You can see a video of Digit in action here. Agility’s CEO, Damion Shelton, didn’t specify how much each one will cost but told The Verge it is in “the low-mid six figures.” Pricey, in other words.

How it could be used: At this stage, Digit is being tested as a way of delivering packages. However, it could someday be used in warehouses, or for industrial inspection. But let’s not get too excited: Digit is still a work in progress. Agility Robotics expects to make a maximum of 30 of the bots in 2020, and Digit has yet to be fully tested in messy, unpredictable working environments around humans. 

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