First Humanoid Robot Factory In History Is Opening

By TeeJay Small | Published

Per a recent write-up in Axios, a factory that produces humanoid robots is set to open in Salem, Oregon as early as 2025, with a number of massive implications for businesses and the general workforce. These bipedal bots are expected to be produced in the tens of thousands annually, with a number already set to ship to warehouse chains such as Amazon to assist with loading and unloading large boxes. The production of these automatons has been sped up by manufacturers citing competition from Beijing, China, where corporate interests project a mass production of robots by 2025.

Digit Bots

The humanoid robot model, which Agility Robotics has nicknamed Digit, is set to begin testing at Amazon sometime in 2024 before expanding out into a number of other markets. Damion Shelton, the company’s CEO, claims that there is already a massive backlog for Digit bots, which won’t be commercially available without a preorder for some time. As for now, Agility has already brought over 100 humanoid robots to life since the company started in 2016 and plans to scale up operations at their fancy new 70,000-square-foot facility within the next few months.

Put To Work In Amazon Warehouses

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This is especially fascinating in the world of robotics and engineering as scientists have long struggled to build a bot that can walk upright on two legs without falling over or tripping constantly. Boston Dynamics has continued tweaking its flagship Atlas robot for over a decade, with the humanoid robot sometimes appearing in the company’s YouTube videos, dancing to the beat of popular funk songs. For Agility Robotics, tests involving Digit’s dexterity and programming are set to take place in Amazon warehouses throughout the country.

What They Do

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Digit will begin its journey at an Amazon fulfillment center South of Seattle, before expanding into other markets. Initial uses for the humanoid robot include assisting human employees, lifting and moving heavy boxes or machinery, and grasping objects with its human-like hands. Amazon gets their first pick of the Digit bots as reciprocation for fronting over $150 million in funding before 2022, as a primary investor.

Little To No Human Interaction Required

Agility Robotics’ humanoid robot is said to be roughly 5’9″ and weigh only 140 pounds, meaning the cyborg may still require human assistance to reach high-up shelves. Still, the robot has the capability to recognize when it needs a charge, and the freedom to locate a power source and plug itself in, providing the wired creature with a distinct advantage over human Amazon workers who are often pushed to the point of exhaustion at their jobs with very few breaks.

Taking More Jobs?


Luckily, these humanoid robots don’t seem to be on pace to take human jobs away any time soon. Amazon’s chief roboticist, Tye Brady explained in a comment to Axios that the bipedal bots are meant to be utilized as a helpful tool to alleviate the workload from human beings while creating over 700 new categories of work for humans to accomplish. The best-case scenario will see these robots clearing a path for even more human jobs, so long as corporations employing the bots offer comprehensive education on how to tinker with the toys.