Skip to Content
Artificial intelligence

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

January 6, 2020
A two-legged robot holding a package
A two-legged robot holding a package
A two-legged robot holding a packageFord Motor Company

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.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

chasm concept
chasm concept

Artificial intelligence is creating a new colonial world order

An MIT Technology Review series investigates how AI is enriching a powerful few by dispossessing communities that have been dispossessed before.

open sourcing language models concept
open sourcing language models concept

Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free

Facebook’s parent company is inviting researchers to pore over and pick apart the flaws in its version of GPT-3

spaceman on a horse generated by DALL-E
spaceman on a horse generated by DALL-E

This horse-riding astronaut is a milestone in AI’s journey to make sense of the world

OpenAI’s latest picture-making AI is amazing—but raises questions about what we mean by intelligence.

labor exploitation concept
labor exploitation concept

How the AI industry profits from catastrophe

As the demand for data labeling exploded, an economic catastrophe turned Venezuela into ground zero for a new model of labor exploitation.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.