Mercedes-Benz to Put AI in Its Assembly Line Robots

Key Points:

  • Mercedes-Benz partners with Apptronik to infuse factory robots with artificial intelligence.
  • Apptronik’s Apollo robot specifications and capabilities for automating manual labor.
  • Use of humanoid robots in factories eliminates the need to redesign spaces for automation.


German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has announced a partnership with Austin-based AI developer Apptronik to introduce artificial intelligence to its factory robots. This collaboration marks Apptronik’s first commercial contract to deploy its Apollo humanoid robots in real-world settings, particularly in the automotive industry. Apollo, standing at nearly six feet tall, weighing 160 lbs, and capable of lifting 55 lbs, was developed by Apptronik, originating from the Human Centered Robotics Lab at the University of Texas at Austin in 2016.


The Apollo robot, with a battery life of four hours, can be stationary or mobile with walking capabilities. Equipped with LED lights in its head and chest for status communication, Apollo aims to automate physically demanding, repetitive tasks in manufacturing settings, as highlighted by Apollo’s CEO Jeff Cardenas. By employing humanoid robots like Apollo, companies such as Mercedes-Benz can optimize their operations without the need for significant space redesign, ensuring efficiency in tasks previously done by humans.


The growing presence of AI in various sectors raises concerns among policymakers and ethicists regarding potential job displacement, challenging industries. Mercedes-Benz regards the Apptronik collaboration as a pilot initiative to explore the benefits of integrating robotics into the automotive manufacturing process. Jörg Burzer, a Mercedes-Benz board member, emphasized the endeavor as an innovative exploration that could enhance support for the company’s workforce.


While the integration of robotics continues to spark debate about the future of human workers in various fields, the advancement of AI, aided by companies like Figure AI, is accelerating toward mass production use. Additionally, renowned companies, including Hanson Robotics, Tesla, and Honda, are actively developing robots for hazardous environments, space exploration, and domestic tasks. The emergence of AI-powered robots like Figure 01, capable of multitasking and conversing independently, reflects the ongoing evolution in robotics technology.



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