Apollo, a humanoid robot designed and made in Austin, will soon assist in Mercedes-Benz’s manufacturing line.

Apptronik, which makes Apollo, signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz to provide its Apollo humanoid robots in logistics to bring parts to the production line for workers to assemble, according to a news release. Apollo will also deliver the totes of kitted parts later in manufacturing.

Apptronik’s Apollo humanoid robots can be used in Mercedes-Benz’s existing plants, so the carmaker can deploy them immediately without redesigning its plants. This allows the carmaker to automate some physically demanding, repetitive, and dull tasks for which it is increasingly hard to find reliable workers.

“When we set out to build Apollo, an agreement like the one we’re announcing today with Mercedes-Benz was a dream scenario,” Jeff Cardenas, Co-founder and CEO of Apollo, said in a news release. Mercedes plans to use robotics and Apollo to automate some low-skill, physically challenging, manual labor—a model use case that we’ll see other organizations replicate in the months and years.”

Apollo is a 5-foot, 8-inch-tall robot that weighs 160 pounds and can lift 55 pounds. It is built to operate alongside people in industrial spaces. According to the company, Apollo’s computing power allows leading AI companies to solve use cases outside the ones that Apptronik will initially solve.

“To build the most desirable cars, we continually evolve the future of automotive production. Advancements in robotics and AI have also opened up new opportunities for us. We are exploring new possibilities with the use of robotics to support our skilled workforce in manufacturing. This is a new frontier, and we want to understand the potential both for robotic 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,” Jorg Burzer, board member of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, production, quality, and supply chain management.

Apptronik, founded in 2016, spun out of the University of Texas’ Human Centered Robotics Lab. The company initially developed general-purpose robots for NASA.



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