By Samir Menon, CEO
We are Dexterity, a young startup stepping out of stealth today. We’re engineering intelligent robots with human-like dexterous manipulation skills. Our first stop is to automate warehousing, a massive market with a clear need for automation and a great proving ground for our robots. Our overarching goal is to delegate repetition to robots and unlock human potential—let robots do the robotic stuff. The printing press was once the force-multiplier for human learning. We see robots as the force-multiplier for human endeavor, and we’d like to usher in this inevitable future.
We have a simple plan to make robots ubiquitous:
- Build intelligent software that gives robots human-like dexterity
- Build a sustainable business by deploying full-stack robotic systems—hardware and software—in warehouses to maximize human productivity
- Make robots smarter and expand their impact beyond the supply chain to stores, offices, and everywhere
- Ubiquitous robots!
(There are a few bonus goals along the way: use robots to do laundry, change diapers, assist the elderly, and explore the galaxy!)
While the plan is simple, its execution is hard. Intelligence is not about scripted and pre-programmed tasks in a structured environment. Intelligence is about working in a dynamic real-world environment with contextual awareness and skill. The difference is consequential. Pre-programmed robots are not human-safe and will always live in engineered environments—in cages and cells. Caged, unsafe robots are not effective in warehouses, stores, offices, or homes. They require constant tending and can not adapt or interact, which prevents them from being collaborative helpers that unlock human potential.
In the two and a half years since we began operations, we have concentrated our efforts on effecting a digital transformation in our customers’ logistics operations. We have deployed a team of collaborative, intelligent robots in production. Transcending state-of-the-art, our robots can pick with force control, can move, can gracefully pack items with a sense of touch, and can collaborate with humans and with each other.
Dexterity’s robots have unique abilities. They can pick, move, pack, and collaborate!
Looking to the future, we present a roadmap for dexterous, intelligent robots:
Level 1 : Immobile robots locked in cages and cells, working on one pre-programmed task
Level 2 : Immobile semi-intelligent robots that can adapt and are able to do one of a few semi-structured tasks
Level 3 : A team of immobile semi-intelligent robots working on a shared unstructured task with pre-defined human-robot interactions
Level 4 : A team of (mobile) intelligent robots that collaborate and work in synchrony on an unstructured task with dynamic human-robot interactions
Level 5 : A human-robot team working on a set of interrelated collaborative tasks with everyone focused on doing what they do best
Level 6 : A distributed human-robot team that operates in synchrony to do multiple related tasks in multiple unstructured workflows across locations, with cross-task scheduling and global productivity optimization
Dexterity’s robots are operating at L4 in production at customer warehouses today. We’re grateful for the trust that our customers place in us, and with each passing day we continue to improve L4 performance by optimizing robot productivity. More importantly, as we speak, we are laying the groundwork for a transition to L5 where we jointly optimize the productivity of human-robot teams. The day where entire warehouses run at L5 is nearby. L6 will fundamentally transform the way our customers do business.
Customers, we are committed to serving you! Let’s start a conversation.
Thank you for reading about us and our vision for dexterous robots. There’s much for us to share, and much more for us to learn. We’d love to engage with you.
If you are considering working on robotics, ask yourself, “Do you want to be freed from the repetitive work you need to do, so you can do what you choose to do?”. If the answer is yes, we welcome you to join us in our efforts to make robots ubiquitous.