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Apptronik's new Apollo humanoid robot

Robotics startup Apptronik has unveiled its first commercial humanoid, Apollo, after years developing bipedal locomotion and exoskeletons for government and defense applications. The 5 foot 8 inch, 160 lb robot can lift 55 lbs and operate for 4 hours on swappable batteries.

Founded in 2016 by alumni of the University of Texas's Human Centered Robotics Lab, Apptronik previously created the Astra research torso for training manipulation skills that enabled Apollo. Targeting a late 2024 release priced like a new car, Apollo aims to pioneer general humanoid capabilities.

Apollo's strategic design balances approachability and recognizability with performance. Apptronik leveraged proprietary linear actuators rather than off-the-shelf rotary motors for cost and reliability benefits. For now, Apollo focuses on warehouse tasks like gross object manipulation that don't require extensive dexterity.

Safety is paramount, with vision and force sensing enabling speed reduction and stopping when humans are near. If tripped, Apollo can curl to minimize damage. As CEO Jeff Cardenas explains, human collaboration is essential for humanoid value, requiring operation in human spaces.

Apptronik will deploy Apollo first for box moving before expanding capabilities over generations. While lacking dexterous hands presently, Cardenas sees dexterity partnerships in Apollo's future to handle advanced manual tasks.

With Astra laying the foundation, Apollo represents a giant leap toward multipurpose and eventually general humanoid robots. By leveraging its pedigree engineering high-performance robotic systems, Apptronik aims to unlock new possibilities for autonomous mobile manipulation.

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