The Dawn of a New Era: The First Humanoid Robot Factory Ready to Open in 2023

The world is on the brink of a major breakthrough in robotics. The first-ever humanoid robot factory, known as RoboFab, opens its doors later this year in Salem, Oregon. This remarkable development, spearheaded by Agility Robotics, signifies the dawn of mass production for commercial humanoid robots.

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humanoid robot

Illustration: Lenka T.

Agility Robotics’ CEO, Damion Shelton, expressed the significance of this event in the company’s press release. “The opening of our factory marks a pivotal moment in the history of robotics: the beginning of the mass production of commercial humanoid robots,” Shelton stated. 

RoboFab boasts the capability to produce a staggering 10,000 robots annually, building on the foundation laid in 2020. At the time, Agility Robotics introduced Digit, a headless bipedal robot. Digit represented a quantum leap in robotic technology, particularly in terms of legged movement and humanoid design. 

Shelton highlighted the driving force behind Digit’s creation. “We built Digit to solve difficult problems in today’s workforce, like injuries, burnout, high turnover, and unfillable labor gaps, with the ultimate vision of enabling humans to be more human.” 

Mass production of advanced Digit 

Today, this vision is becoming a reality. RoboFab is gearing up to manufacture over 10,000 advanced versions of Digit each year. Initially targeting hundreds of Digit robots in its first year, the company has plans to scale production to 10,000 robots annually. 

Once fully operational, RoboFab will employ over 500 individuals in Salem, marking a significant boost to the local economy. Moreover, Digit will collaborate alongside human workers within the factory, showcasing its versatility and advanced capabilities. 

A helping hand 

Agility Robotics has continually improved Digit’s functionalities, making it adaptable for various industries. Their latest iteration, the “next generation of Digit,” features a cylindrical head and two animated LED eyes, specifically tailored for logistics-related tasks. 

Digit’s applications span logistics, distribution, and industrial automation, thanks to its humanoid form and mobility. Designed to operate safely alongside humans, it seamlessly navigates environments where people work, performing a myriad of tasks with ease. 

Digit is proudly dubbed “the first human-centric, multi-purpose robot made for logistics work” on its website. In the factory, Digit robots will carry out tasks similar to those at Agility’s customer sites, which include tote moving, loading, and unloading. 

Andrea Campbell, the COO of Agility Robotics, expressed the significance of establishing RoboFab in close proximity to their engineering center. “Not only are we building the world’s first factory for humanoid robots, but we’re doing so in the United States about 30 miles from our engineering center, which is fantastic for setting us up to scale quickly.” 

She continued, “By establishing RoboFab as a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub in Salem, Oregon, we are accelerating the development and deployment of advanced robotic systems, cultivating innovation, and creating high-skilled job opportunities. With the capability to produce Digit at scale, we are poised to change the future of work for the better.” 

With this cutting-edge manufacturing facility in place, customers who are part of the Agility Partner Program (APP) can anticipate the delivery of the initial Digits in 2024, while it will be available globally in 2025. The world is on the verge of a robotic revolution that will transform industries and redefine the future of work. 

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