In recent years, humanoid robots have become the hottest trend in the world of robotics. These advanced machines are designed to mimic human movements and interact with the environment in ways that were previously unimaginable. Now Apptronik, a company based in Austin, Texas, is taking the game with humanoid robots to the next level with their latest creation: the Apollo.
Apollo is a friendly, general-purpose humanoid robot capable of making a significant impact in the workplace. At 5.67 feet (173 cm) tall and weighing 160 pounds (73 kg), this robot is impressive not only for its size, but also for its strength. Capable of lifting up to 55 pounds (25 kg), Apollo surpasses the capabilities of its competitors such as the Figure 01 and Tesla Optimus robots, which can only support a maximum payload of 45 pounds (20 kg).
One of the key features of Apollo is its endurance. Unlike other robots that require frequent breaks and cool-down periods, Apollo can lift those 55 pounds all day long without breaking a sweat. According to Apptronik CEO and co-founder Jeff Cardenas, “Humanoid robots are not just the answer to the problem of physically demanding work in challenging environments, they are a necessity.” He believes Apollo is uniquely positioned to meet this challenge and make a real impact.
Apptronik’s expertise in robotics is evident in its innovative designs. The company traces its roots to the human-centered robotics lab at the University of Texas at Austin and has developed 10 robots, including exoskeletons, bipedal leg systems, and the versatile Astra robot, which can be controlled remotely using virtual reality technology.
While functionality is important, Apptronik places great importance on the aesthetics of their robots. They want their creations to be seen as useful companions capable of working alongside humans. To that end, Apollo is equipped with colorful rings around the eye cameras, as well as E Ink and OLED screens on its face and chest, respectively.
Modularity is another key aspect of Apollo’s design. Customers can order Apollo as a fully functional walking device, a wheeled cart bot, or a stationary version that can be plugged into a power source directly at the workplace. This flexibility allows the system to be tailored to specific needs and tasks.
Currently, Apollo is primarily focused on tasks related to crates and boxes, such as lifting, moving and stacking. This makes it a valuable assistant for tasks such as loading and unloading vans, organizing storage boxes and transporting materials on site. However, Apptronik is actively seeking development partners to expand Apollo’s capabilities and adapt the equipment to a wide range of tasks.
Exact details on how Apollo learns and adapts its capabilities have not yet been specified, but it is expected that the robot will utilize a manned learning system similar to what Sanctuary AI is developing for its humanoid Phoenix. An alpha version of the Apollo robot is currently being demonstrated, with a production version expected by the end of 2024 and a commercial version by 2025.
The introduction of Apollo into the workforce has the potential to revolutionize industries that require physically demanding labor. With its impressive strength, endurance, and modularity, this humanoid robot has the potential to make a significant impact on work practices. As technology advances, the possibilities for humanoid robots like Apollo are limitless, and we can expect even more revolutionary innovations in the near future.