The robot, known as Digit, is a two-legged robot that is capable of grasping and lifting items at Amazon facilities. Digit has two arms, two legs, a blue chest and two square lights for eyes. It can move forward and backward, turn around and bend down. It can reach, grab and lift the iconic yellow tote boxes of Amazon.
The company claims Digit will help human warehouse workers with tote recycling by picking up and moving empty totes once all items in them have been removed.
To create Digit, Amazon's robotics subsidiary, Amazon Robotics, partnered with the tech startup Agility Robotics. This startup, based in Oregon, focuses on creating robots for logistics and warehouse businesses. Amazon, through the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, provided Agility Robotics with $150 million in funding to help create Digit.
At the end of the trial period for Digit, Amazon plans to put the robot to work "in spaces and corners of warehouses in novel ways."
"We believe that there is a big opportunity to scale a mobile manipulator solution, such as Digit, which can work collaboratively with employees," Amazon added.
Amazon noted that Digit is still in the very early stages of development, and so it will be some time before the company will be able to deploy them on a large scale on warehouse floors.
"They won't strike, ask for more pay or annoy higher-ups with requests for 'rights,'" commented Steve Watson for InfoWars. (Related: Workers in warehouses could soon lose their jobs to HUMANOID ROBOTS.)
Amazon Robotics Chief Technologist Tye Brady claimed that Amazon's human workers are "irreplaceable," and what Digit will be doing is eliminating "all the menial, the mundane and the repetitive" tasks inside Amazon's warehouses. He denied that Digit's deployment would lead to job cuts, claiming that the increasing automation in warehouses "does not" mean Amazon will require fewer staff.
"There's not any part of me that thinks that would ever be a reality," said Brady, referring to the possibility of a fully automated Amazon warehouse. "People are so central to the fulfillment process; the ability to think at a higher level, the ability to diagnose problems."
"We will always need people," he continued. "I've never been around an automated system that works 100 percent of the time. I don't think you have as well." Brady added that the end goal for Digit is to have it "collaboratively" work with Amazon employees.
"Collaborative robotics involves people. How can we have people be the stars, the spotlight, the center of the show when it comes to the jobs that we have to do?" said Brady. "When we do our job really, really well, our robotic systems just kind of blend into the background to become ubiquitous. You don't talk about your dishwasher too much in your kitchen. It's an amazing robot. It's such a great robot that I don't even call it a robot."
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