Digit is Amazon's first humanoid robot (Credit: Amazon.com/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Amazon warehouse workers are used to working alongside robots. Over the years, the company has deployed over 750,000 automated machines to help lift, sort, and fulfill the millions of orders that need to be completed daily. However, most of them are cart-shaped or just have robotic arms. In this mix, a robot named "Digit," unveiled in October 2023, stands out.

The 5ft 9in (175 cm) tall lifelike Digit has two robotic arms and legs. Its square LED lights blink to indicate which way it's turning. The robot has various cameras and sensors to help scan the surroundings. This allows Digit to work alongside humans and navigate the warehouse autonomously.

Digit currently works alongside humans in Amazon warehouses (Credit: Amazon.com/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Digit's initial job was to pick up and move containers once the inventory had been removed. But over the past few months, the bipedal robot's duties have expanded to sorting, picking up, moving, and arranging warehouse boxes.

Digit's creator, Agility Robotics, is working on additional improvements to make the robot more useful. They are testing a new arm that will allow it to easily lift boxes and open doors. Digit will also soon be able to recharge its batteries independently using a custom charging dock. The company's ultimate goal is to have Digit help with home deliveries.

"One of our goals is for Digit to deliver packages to your doorstep autonomously,"
Agility states on its website. "This means that Digit must be able to encounter unexpected, unstructured terrain during its delivery journeys and adjust accordingly. It also means having the ability to go upstairs, step down from a curb, ascend or descend a sloped hillside, or move across sandy or loose soil."

Digit's creator hopes to use the robot for home deliveries (Credit: Amazon.com/CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Amazon's increasing use of robots is causing concern for its human employees. Many wonder if they will someday be replaced entirely. However, the company says the machines are just taking over repetitive and dangerous tasks, freeing up humans for more challenging and exciting jobs.

"Over the last ten years, we've rolled out hundreds of thousands of robotics systems while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs within our operations. This includes 700 categories of new job types, in skilled roles, which didn't exist within the company beforehand," Amazon asserts on its website.

Resources: Businessinsider.com, agilityrobotics.com