The Mystery of Ford Humanoid Delivery Robot: Where is Digit Now?

by AutoExpert   |  14 December, 2023

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Remember when science fiction teased us with the idea of humanoid robotic assistants? Well, not too long ago, in 2019, Ford, one of the automotive giants, teamed up with Agility Robotics to turn a bit of that fiction into reality. They struck a deal to use Agility's groundbreaking Digit automatons for automated delivery. But what's happened since then? Where did Ford's robotic delivery dreams go?

The initial aim of Ford's partnership with Agility Robotics was to innovate in the world of automation, particularly in delivery services. Ford was one of the first to get its hands on Digit, Agility's first commercial bipedal robot, ripe for experimentation. The plan? To have these robots step out of autonomous delivery vehicles and carry packages the last 50 feet to the recipient's door, especially when no one was home to receive them.

Ford Humanoid Delivery Robot

Beyond physical delivery, Ford was also keen to test how Digit could synchronize with its delivery vehicles. These robots were equipped with wireless connectivity, allowing them to share maps and topographical data with the vehicles for optimal delivery routes.

Ford Humanoid Delivery Robot

But after the initial excitement and announcements, the trail goes cold. Ford has been tight-lipped about the Digit project for the past three years, with only a brief mention in a TechCrunch interview. The silence is intriguing, especially as Ford is still performing well, and Agility Robotics has continued to evolve, making significant advancements to Digit.

Ford Humanoid Delivery Robot

The latest Digits are more advanced than the models Ford purchased. They now feature a "head" with digital eyes for scanning surroundings and indicating movement direction to people nearby.

Ford Humanoid Delivery Robot

 So, why the radio silence from Ford? It could be that Ford's acquisition of the original Digits was purely experimental, with no long-term plans. Alternatively, the COVID-19 pandemic might have shifted priorities, as it did for many in the automotive industry. This remains speculative, though, as there's been no official word on why the project seems to have stalled.

Despite the mystery, both Ford and Digit are very much present and active in their respective fields. However, updates on their partnership or any resulting projects have been conspicuously absent since 2020.

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