Digit, Agility Robotics' package-delivery robot, is now for sale

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US robotics startup Agility Robotics says its bipedal robot, Digit, is now available for sale. It costs an undisclosed six-figure sum, and its creators say it could be used in a range of industries, including delivery, logistics, inspection, and telepresence. Only six units have been made for the first production run.
US startup Agility Robotics has announced that its bipedal robot Digit is now for sale, with the first two units bought by automaker Ford to research last-mile package delivery.

Digit is approximately the size and shape of a small adult human. It's able to navigate environments semi-autonomously with the help of LIDAR and other sensors, and it can carry boxes in its arms up to 40 pounds (18 kilograms) in weight. Agility Robotics says it can be put to a range of uses, including in logistics, warehouses, telepresence, and industrial inspection.

Mobile robots like Digit are still experimental

But companies will need to find out for themselves how well Digit can manage these jobs. Although mobile, multipurpose robots have improved dramatically in recent years thanks to advances in battery and navigation tech, they've yet to prove themselves at scale.

Digit can perform some operations autonomously, but it's not able to adapt to new environments as easily as a human. In the video below, you can see a recent version of Digit picking up and carrying a box. In an interview, Agility Robotics said the picking is done "fully autonomously," but the robot had to be steered through the office by a human:

Digit is now available for an unspecified launch price in "the low-mid six figures," CEO Damion Shelton tells The Verge over email. When factoring in upkeep and the robot's expected lifespan, Shelton estimates this amounts to an hourly cost of roughly $25.

"This represents a 'fully operational' price," he says. "[Customers can] pull Digit out of the shipping case, charge, power it on, and start developing/using."

Digit can work in logistics, warehouses, and industrial inspection

Digit has the potential to be useful in a wide range of industries…
James Vincent
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