Agility Robotics unveils bipedal robot for last mile logistics
27 February 2019
The robot, named Digit, which adds an upper torso, arms, sensors, and additional computing power to the company’s Cassie robot design.
Four degree-of-freedom (4-DOF) arms extend both the mobility and utility of Digit, as compared to Cassie. “For us,” said Dr. Jonathan Hurst, CTO and co-founder of Agility, “arms are simultaneously a tool for moving through the world - think getting up after a fall, waving your arms for balance, or pushing open a door - while also being useful for manipulating or carrying objects.” These new capabilities are important when moving through complex, human-oriented environments, for tasks such as curb-to-doorstep delivery.
Although still in testing, Digit is strong enough to pick up and stack boxes weighing up to 18kg, as well as durable enough to catch itself during a fall using its arms to decelerate. In addition to the physical changes, the control system for Digit has been overhauled to enable advanced behaviours such as stair climbing and footstep planning, all controlled through a robust API that can be accessed both onboard the robot and via a wireless link.
Digit’s torso houses two multi-core CPUs, and a modular payload bay allows a third computer - in a variety of possible form factors - to support additional perception and reinforcement learning capabilities.