apptronik’s robot ‘apollo’ to work in mercedes-benz’s facility and help manufacture their cars

apptronik’s robot ‘apollo’ to work in mercedes-benz’s facility and help manufacture their cars

Apptronik’s humanoid robots ‘apollo’ at mercedes-benz

 

Robotics company Apptronik and Mercedes-Benz struck a deal to have the general-purpose AI humanoid robots of the former work in the latter’s manufacturing facilities and help produce their cars. Apptronik first unveiled Apollo in 2023, which is a humanoid robot designed to support humans by undertaking hazardous or less desirable and laborious tasks. Today, a series of Apollo humanoid robots are set to be deployed in Mercedes-Benz’s production line, helping human workers deliver assembly kits and inspect the car brand’s vehicle components, to name a few.

mercedes-benz apptronik humanoid robots apollo
images courtesy of Apptronik

 

 

Apptronik’s humanoid robots, Apollo, are also expected to deliver the totes of kitted parts later in the manufacturing process of Mercedes-Benz’s vehicles. In the words of Apptronik, the deployment of these humanoid robots such as Apollo in production facilities like Mercedes-Benz’s can help automate ‘some physically demanding, repetitive, and dull tasks for which it is increasingly hard to find reliable workers,’ says the robotics company.

mercedes-benz apptronik humanoid robots apollo
a series of Apollo humanoid robots are set to be deployed in Mercedes-Benz’s production line

 

 

Other companies to replicate the use of robots?

 

As Jeff Cardenas, co-founder and CEO of Apollo, says, it’s part of Mercedes-Benz’s plans to use robotics such as Apptronik’s Apollo for some low-skill, physically challenging, and manual labor, ‘a model use case that we’ll see other organizations replicate in the months and years to come,’ adds the co-founder and CEO. The humanoid robots are built to be the size of a human worker, standing at around five feet, eight inches tall, and 160 pounds in weight. These robots are able to lift objects weighing up to 55 pounds and are built to function in industrial spaces as general-purpose handymen.

mercedes-benz apptronik humanoid robots apollo
Apptronik’s humanoid robots can help humans deliver assembly kits and inspect Mercedes-Benz’s car components

 

 

Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production, Quality & Supply Chain Management, says that the rapid development in robotics and artificial intelligence is a ground that Mercedes-Benz is willing to explore since it can open up new opportunities for the group in terms of continually building their up-to-date vehicles. ‘This is a new frontier and we want to understand the potential both for robotics and automotive manufacturing to fill labor gaps in areas such as low skill, repetitive and physically demanding work and to free up our highly skilled team members on the line to build the world’s most desirable cars,’ he says.

mercedes-benz apptronik humanoid robots apollo
the Apollo robots are also expected to deliver the totes of kitted parts of Mercedes-Benz’s vehicles

 

 

Apptronik teams up with NVIDIA to advance humanoid robots

 

Apptronik has yet to unveil the deployment timeline of its humanoid robots, Apollo, to Mercedes-Benz’s manufacturing facilities. In the meantime, the robotics company has also teamed up with NVIDIA to advance the mindset and thinking of their humanoid robots. NVIDIA Project GR00T is slated to enable Apptronik’s Apollo to quickly learn new tasks from human demonstrations, allowing the humanoid robot to tackle more complex tasks than previously possible. Apptronik’s Jeff Cardenas says that generative AI is currently used to generate text, images, and video. ‘The next frontier is to leverage these AI tools to generate intelligent humanoid robot behavior,’ he adds.

mercedes-benz apptronik humanoid robots apollo
Apptronik has also teamed up with NVIDIA to advance the mindset and thinking of the humanoid robots

 

 

Apollo’s main computing system includes NVIDIA’s modules which enable the AI-powered robot to perform a wide variety of tasks and learn from human demonstrations. With the teaming up, NVIDIA’s developers can take text, video, and human demonstrations as task prompts, learn skills like coordination and dexterity, and generate actions as output for the humanoid robot. The intended result is to make Apollo recognize its environment and predict what to do next instead of it just simply repeating the actions in the training data.

mercedes-benz apptronik humanoid robots apollo
NVIDIA Project GR00T can help Apptronik’s Apollo to quickly learn new tasks from human demonstrations

mercedes-benz apptronik humanoid robots apollo
Apollo’s computing system includes NVIDIA’s modules, which enable the AI robot to perform tasks

apptronik-humanoid-robot-apollo-mercedes-benz-facility-designboom-ban

no deployment timeline yet for the humanoid robots working at Mercedes-Benz’s facilities

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