|Date||Wednesday, March 22, 2023|
|Time||2:15 PM - 3:00 PM|
Robotics and automation are critical to the future of logistics and increasing human productivity in general. The first wave of this robotics revolution was fixed, single-purpose robot arms and other forms of mechanical automation. It’s still a growing industry but has reached maturity. The second wave, beginning to really gain steam now, is autonomous mobile robots, operating in warehouses and spaces designed for automation, but with mobility enabling tasks beyond fixed robotic systems.
We are at the forefront of the third wave, just beginning now: human-centric robots, designed to go where people go and operate near and around us. These robots will walk into existing facilities without the need to completely renovate the space.
In this talk, I will discuss Digit, a multi-purpose, human-centric robot that will begin moving totes in warehouses between shelves, conveyors, and carts. Digit is a partner, augmenting the workforce, doing the repetitive work that is already process-automated (and thus very boring to a person) but is difficult to automate because the task is designed around a human workflow. I will explain a few technical keys that enable such a machine to exist now, where it was not possible before; and I will describe a predicted path forward from these very first applications toward human-centric robots becoming commonplace in warehouses, then other industries, businesses, and eventually homes.
We are starting the next wave of automation, with human-centric robots leading the way. This kind of automation will help augment the workforce and keep companies from having to retrofit or remodel existing facilities to accommodate the technology. It also helps free existing workers to focus on more dynamic, interesting and creative tasks that require the human element.
|Jonathan Hurst||Agility Robotics||Chief Technology Officer|