World’s first humanoid robot factory set to open this year

Robot mass production may soon turn into a reality.
Mrigakshi Dixit
Digit humanoid robot.
Digit humanoid robot.

Agility robotics/X 

The world’s first humanoid robot manufacturing factory in Salem, Oregon, may open up later this year. 

Company Agility Robotics recently announced that preparations are in all swing for the opening of this manufacturing unit named “RoboFab.” The Agility’s press release mentioned that the facility's construction began last year.

“The opening of our factory marks a pivotal moment in the history of robotics: the beginning of the mass production of commercial humanoid robots,” said Agility Robotics’ co-founder and CEO Damion Shelton. 

Factory can make 10,000 robots per year. 

In 2020, the company introduced a bipedal and headless robot named Digit. The robot, designed and built by the company, marked a significant leap in the world of robotics, notably in legged movement and humanoid design.

“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. When you’re building new technology to improve society, the most important milestone is when you’re able to mass produce that technology at a scale where it can have a real, widespread impact,” added Shelton. 

Now, its 70,000-square-foot facility will produce over 10,000 advanced versions of Digit annually. 

The company has set a target of producing hundreds of Digit robots in the first year after its launch. After the first year, it plans to scale production to around 10,000 robots yearly.

Once fully operational, RoboFab is expected to have over 500 employees in Salem.

Digit will also work along with the human workers in the factory

Agility Robotics has recently refined and advanced Digit's capabilities to make it a more versatile and capable technology for various industries. In a recent development, they introduced the "next generation of Digit," featuring a cylindrical head and two animated LED eyes designed explicitly for executing logistics-related tasks.

Digit is designed for various applications, such as logistics, distribution, and industrial automation. Its humanoid appearance and mobility allow it to adapt to various activities that need mobility and manipulation ability. The robot has been purposely built to function securely in human-made surroundings, and it is intended to navigate locations where humans work and accomplish diverse jobs effortlessly.

Digit’s website describes Digit as “the first human-centric, multi-purpose robot made for logistics work.” 

Digit robots will also have a role at the new factory, performing tasks similar to those at Agility's customer sites, which involve moving, loading, and unloading totes.

“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,” said Andrea Campbell, the COO.

“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,” Campbell added.