Richard Bazzy
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Digit, Ford’s New Delivery Robot, Spells the End of Mankind

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Digit robot
Meet Digit, the bringer of our doom
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Look, let’s just face facts: One of these days, the robots are going to rise up and overrun the human race. This is just going to happen, and we might as well prepare for it mentally as best we can before it happens. Having said that, we can see some of the first steps toward our inevitable endgame in the form of Digit, a robot from Ford and Agility Robotics.

Digit is Ford and Agility Robotics’ solution for the final leg of autonomous delivery. With self-driving delivery vehicles getting parcels and packages most of the way to their intended targets, Digit steps in by using its startlingly human-like abilities to finish the job. Why does this all sound so menacing?

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Digit robot

“Enter Digit, a two-legged robot designed and built by Agility Robotics to not only approximate the look of a human, but to walk like one, too,” writes Ford Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering Dr. Ken Washington in a post on Medium. “Built out of lightweight material and capable of lifting packages that weigh up to 40 pounds, Digit can go up and down stairs, walk naturally through uneven terrain, and even react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over.”

Terrified yet? You should be.

This is how it starts, y’all.

As if that’s not bad enough, Washington boasts of Digit’s “hidden advantage”: the ability to work in perfect harmony with self-driving vehicles to get done whatever task is at hand. For now, it’s packages, but how soon before that task becomes the utter annihilation of our species?

For now, let’s marvel at the advancements Ford is making, but let’s do so cautiously and with the lessons of the Terminator franchise at heart. No fate but what we make.

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Photos: Ford and Agility Robotics’ Digit, The Ender of Man

Digit robot
One day, these robot feet will crush a human skull cinematically in a war-torn hellscape while Brad Fidel’s music plays