Apollo has approximately human-like proportions, is friendly and approachable, and is a general purpose robot designed to work in industries alongside humans, enriching their lives and amplifying their potential.
“It is not Man vs. Machine, but Man + Machine.”
Apptronik collaborated with NASA as part of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to develop the robot. The company explained that Apollo was developed from its “experience and expertise in building over 10 previous robots including NASA’s Valkyrie robot.”
“We believe that Apollo is one of the most advanced tools humanity has ever created — how we apply it will change the way that we live and work,” said Jeff Cardenas, co-founder and CEO of Apptronik, adding:
“This is a remarkable achievement for Apptronik, but also just another step on our — and Apollo’s — journey.”
“We Have Poured Our Humanity Into This Machine”
Apollo is 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds, has four hours of battery life, can carry 55 pounds in weight, and is built to navigate environments designed for humans. In addition to its physical capabilities, the robot is also designed to be friendly, safe, cost-efficient, mass-manufacturable and energy-efficient.
NASA explains its collaboration with Apptronik was centered on the modularity of Apollo, “which allows it to be reconfigured to perform different functions,” as well as contributing expertise on developing features that “provide safe robotic operation when working alongside humans.”
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Though Apollo will initially operate in logistics and manufacturing industries, Apptronik says the robot will eventually be scaled out to a spectrum of other sectors including:
- Oil and gas
- Electronics production
- Home delivery
- Elder care
“[A]nd countless more,” states Apptronik’s press release, adding:
“Apollo is the ‘iPhone’ of robots, enabling development partners to expand on Apptronik developed solutions and extend the digital world into the physical world to work alongside people and do the jobs that they don’t want to do.”
Though Apollo is designed for Earth-based applications, NASA has said it’s interested in “potentially adapting the robots for use in space to serve as assistants for astronauts living and working on the surface of the Moon and Mars, and to act as remote ‘avatars’ for human operators on Earth.”
The space agency has explained that many types of general purpose robots could be used on the Moon or Mars for different purposes such as maintenance or offloading “mundane and dangerous tasks from astronauts.”
NASA’s “Valkyrie” is the space agency’s own humanoid robot platform, but the agency notes how they could also collaborate with partners. In July, NASA announced Valkyrie would be tested as part of a new mission working at uncrewed and offshore energy facilities in Australia, in collaboration with global energy company, Woodside Energy.
“As one of NASA’s partners for developing the next generation of humanoid robots, and also part of the original Valkyrie development team, Apptronik is working to support NASA’s goals such as reducing human exposure to hazardous environments and, potentially, extending humanity’s reach in space,” stated Apptronik.
In a recent blog post marking the launch of Apollo, the company writes:
“We have poured our humanity into this machine. We believe it has the potential to dramatically improve the way we live on Earth… and take us so far beyond.”
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Hand pointing. Featured Photo Credit: Tara Winstead