DMR News

Advancing Digital Conversations

Agility Robotics Layoff Workers to Aim for Commercialization

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 10, 2024
Agility Robotics Layoff Workers to Aim for Commercialization

Agility Robotics Layoff Workers to Aim for Commercialization

Agility Robotics confirmed on Thursday, April 4th, that it had reduced its workforce by a “small number” of employees. The Oregon-based company cites this move as part of its broader strategic shift towards commercialization efforts company-wide.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Agility stated, “As part of Agility’s ongoing efforts to structure the company for success, we have parted ways with a small number of employees that were not central to core product development and commercialization. At the same time, we are focused on meeting the extraordinary demand for bipedal robots across industrial use cases.”

The company emphasizes its commitment to meeting the increasing demand for bipedal robots while highlighting its efforts to scale up production of Digit. Despite initial exploration of Digit’s potential in last-mile delivery, Agility has shifted its focus to cater to understaffed warehouses, where its technology finds significant utility.

How Did Agility Robotics Start?

Agility Robotics emerged from research conducted at Oregon State University, positioning itself at the forefront of industrial humanoid robotics. Notably, Ford was an early supporter, expressing interest in Digit for last-mile delivery applications. However, as priorities evolved, the company redirected its focus towards addressing labor shortages in warehouses.

Despite broader market trends indicating a slowdown in investments and adoption of robotic systems following a pandemic-driven surge, Agility has continued to attract substantial funding.

Two years ago, the company secured a $150 million Series B funding round, with Amazon participating through its Industrial Innovation Fund. This partnership saw Digits piloted in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, although subsequent steps following the pilot phase remain undisclosed.

Where Does Agility Stand Among Competitiors?

Agility’s recent strategic moves coincide with similar initiatives from other players in the humanoid robotics space. Companies like Figure and Apptronik have announced their own pilots, indicating a growing interest in integrating humanoid robots into various industries

At events like Modex, Agility has showcased updates to Digit’s end effectors tailored for automotive manufacturing workflows, further illustrating its adaptability across sectors.

In addition to its focus on product development and commercialization, Agility has bolstered its leadership team with notable hires, including Peggy Johnson as CEO, Melonee Wise as CTO, and Aindrea Campbell as COO.

The company’s current job listings primarily center around engineering and manufacturing roles.

Related News:

Featured Image courtesy of Agility Robotics

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *