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Amazon-Backed Agility Robotics Laid Off a ‘Small Number’ of Staff

Agility Robotics reduced its workforce on Wednesday.

The company told Business Insider that the job cuts affected a “small number” of employees.

“As part of Agility’s ongoing efforts to structure the company for success, we have parted ways with a small number of employees who were not essential to core product development and commercialization” , said a spokesperson.

Amazon is testing its Agility’s Digit robots at a research and development center near Seattle. The tech giant has already funded Agility in its first round of investments through its $1 billion Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund.

An electrical engineer at the humanoid robotics company said in posts on LinkedIn and X that he was “one of many laid off” at the company.

He added that he was “surprised by the timing” as he had just been moved from the support engineering team to the electrical engineering team last year.

Human resources director Lisa Haugh commented on the post on LinkedIn, saying she was “sorry” that he was “part of the small group affected” by the layoffs. It’s unclear how many employees Agility has or how many jobs have been eliminated.

The job cuts underscore the difficulty some robotics companies are having financing their operations, even with the backing of tech giants, as Crunchbase reported.

Agility also told BI that in addition to cutting jobs, it was also working to meet “the extraordinary demand for bipedal robots in industrial use cases.”

“This means accelerating Digit’s production while continuing to win blue-chip global customers and adding new positions that meet these goals. We believe today’s actions will allow us to focus on areas that drive Digit’s manufacturing, marketing and production. “

The two-legged Digit can lift and move items in warehouses and distribution centers.

The company announced last month that it had named a new CEO, Peggy Johnson, as it prepares to open a factory in Oregon later this year to begin mass-producing robots.

Johnson previously told BI that it would produce “hundreds” of its Digit robots in 2025, then “increase capacity to thousands” in the years that follow.

The company touted this as a way to potentially help ease the labor shortage in the manufacturing industry, as Bureau of Labor Statistics data projects there will be about a million unfilled positions for workers and movers over the next decade.

businessinsider

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