“Robot”, in its more classical Slavic variant, means “forced labor”. And, at the moment, robots, having no human feelings whatsoever, that’s exactly what they do for us. But rarely has the future hit us so head-on as with Digit, created in 2020 by Agility Robotics for Ford and tasked with packaging and distributing courier services. What no one imagined is that three years later, that robot would look almost human.
Kiss my shining metallic eyes
Agility Robotics has decided to take that headless bipedal contraption and put one with eyes on it to supposedly improve human-robot interaction. Digit is created to improve operations in company warehouses, and to avoid collisions of any kind, the eyes will now serve as the lights of a car, and will show when it is about to turn and to which location.
You may be afraid that robots, especially as artificial intelligence becomes more and more latent, will take away human jobs, but Jonathan Hurst, co-founder of Agility Robotics, thinks otherwise: “When people and robots work together in logistics operations, working conditions improve for people, warehouse efficiency improves, the distribution chain moves better. Everybody wins.
At the moment, Digit’s activities are not very varied. It can walk, jump and crouch, but its main function is to pick up and put down different types of objects up to 15 kilograms. One can only imagine that, in the future, with the technological advancement of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence mechanisms, Digit could become just another companion to chat with. And then we will have reached the ultimate science fiction.