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.
Sign up here to our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.
A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?
Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.
The viral AI avatar app Lensa undressed me—without my consent
My avatars were cartoonishly pornified, while my male colleagues got to be astronauts, explorers, and inventors.
Roomba testers feel misled after intimate images ended up on Facebook
An MIT Technology Review investigation recently revealed how images of a minor and a tester on the toilet ended up on social media. iRobot said it had consent to collect this kind of data from inside homes—but participants say otherwise.
How to spot AI-generated text
The internet is increasingly awash with text written by AI software. We need new tools to detect it.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.