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This Satyrlike Robot Brings Boxes to You Like a Metal Mr. Tumnus

Take this box, human.
Take this box, human.
Photo: Agility Robotics

Agility Robotics has announced a $20 million funding round for a robot that looks like a Greek myth crossed with a cyberpunk fever dream. The robot, called Digit, is designed to work alongside meat humans in environments where people congregate but that might be difficult for robots to manage.

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Digit, Agility Robotics’ humanoid robot with both mobility and manipulation capabilities, is commercially available and has been shipping to customers since July 2020,” wrote the company in a release. DCVC and Playground Global co-led the round. Agility has raised a total of $29 million thus far. DCVC’s Matt Ocko is also joining Agility Robotics’ board of directors.

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Digit is currently shipping to customers.

“It’s never been clearer that our society’s demand for manual labor exceeds our ability to generate it safely, and it is far past time we have a solution which can work alongside humans to raise the bar on the quality of life and free up human time,” said co-founder Damion Shelton.

Digit’s legs have knees that bend backward, which allows the robot to climb stairs and curbs while carrying heavy loads in its two robotic arms. It can do things like lift boxes from the floor and carry them around an office environment, a trick that larger, wheel-based robots can’t quite manage without more space. Best of all, Digit lasts longer on a charge than similar robots, ensuring your robotic Mr. Tumnus will be able to turn the Pevensie children over to the White Witch more quickly and more often.

John Biggs is a writer from Ohio who lives in Brooklyn. He likes books, board games, watches, and his dog. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

fabian6
Fabian Knockwurst

The robust motivation to construct bipedal robots is completely understandable; it’s more relatable to our own existence, hence client psychology, and it’s (horrorshow) cool! However, it would be always be cheaper and more stable to go with wheels. (“Stairs! you fool! stairs!” nah, still cheaper and more stable to design around such inefficient structures; tractor treads otherwise) hell.. “Darwin” would’ve gone with wheels for us, but except for a few microscopic parallels it can’t happen for organisms with connected circulatory and nervous system.