27. June 2024

GXO advances humanoid strategy, announces multi-phase R&D initiative with Apptronik


GXO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: GXO), the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider, announced it is conducting an early-stage proof-of-concept program in partnership with robot manufacturer Apptronik. This collaboration marks another milestone in GXO’s strategy to advance humanoid innovation by partnering with developers to help shape their prototypes to meet the evolving demands of the logistics industry.

“We’re excited to partner with Apptronik to develop their AI-enabled humanoid robot,” said Adrian Stoch, Chief Automation Officer, GXO. “Apollo has great potential to add value throughout the distribution center, including the most labor-intensive operational processes. These kinds of robotics reduce repetitive work and improve safety while freeing associates to focus on higher-value-added activities. As we progress on our R&D journey with Apptronik, we’ll also be evaluating its capability for other critical use cases along the way.”

Apptronik’s general purpose industrial humanoid robot stands 5’8” tall , can carry 55 pounds and operates on swappable batteries that are configured to give it the highest operational time of any humanoid robot. Apollo is powered by linear actuators that mimic the mechanics of human muscles and provide a full range of mobility. Its unique force control architecture and flexible safety zone perimeter allow Apollo to work safely around and directly with people. Together, the companies are evaluating the overall performance of the robot in a lab setting to further fine-tune Apptronik’s AI model before deploying the technology to a U.S. distribution center once ready.

Jeff Cardenas, co-founder & CEO of Apptronik, said, “Our mission is to build versatile robots that can do work in real-world applications – from large, powerful movements like transporting boxes and totes to small, precise ones like picking individual items or scanning barcodes. That’s why we’re committed to helping technology leader GXO optimize its logistics operations and create an even safer, more engaging workplace for its employees with the help of Apollo. The two phases of this R&D program represent essential steps toward the launch of an innovative scalable automation solution for GXO.”

The humanoid partnership with Apptronik is the second for GXO, the leader in warehouse automation and a first mover in the AI-driven automation space. In 2023, GXO increased its total units of warehouse automation by about 50% year over year and trialed a broad range of new hardware and software solutions, which include AI-powered robotics and autonomous vehicles.

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