Willamette Valley High Tech
Agility Robotics is a global leader in developing robots designed to work in human spaces — and they’re doing it right here in Oregon.
The Nature of Work
Americans are currently going through a time of soul-searching when it comes to “work.” The crucible of the pandemic has made us more aware than ever of the tradeoffs we all make between our need to work and the quality of our lives. What sort of jobs do we want? Just as importantly, what sort of jobs are available to us? And, if there are entire categories of jobs that people simply will no longer accept, what will it mean for our economy? Our quality of life?
These are questions with no easy answers, but clearly, there are some categories of jobs that have become difficult to fill. And these are exactly the sort of jobs that might be better executed through automation.
Robots Alongside People
“I really see robots helping with dangerous, dull, repetitive manual labor jobs,” said Mikhail Jones, Vice President of Software for Agility Robotics. “That’s really where robotics excels, and we’ve seen the rise of automation really improve efficiency across industry.”
Agility’s Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Hurst agreed. “The very first kinds of things we’re going to be able to do with our robots, the Digit robot, are the kind of repetitive tasks that people just don’t want to do.”
The first commercially available human-form robot
A robot designed to work alongside people in human spaces
Agility’s robots have changed over time, eventually evolving into a very recognizable human shape. Except for its bird-like, backwards-bending knees, the human influence on their most recent iteration, named “Digit”, is obvious. In the words of Agility’s CEO Damion Shelton (pictured here), “We were the very first company to ever sell a machine with legs that we’re aware of, of any kind, and we are still to-date the only company that has a commercially available, person-shaped robot.”
A New Kind of Co-worker
Unlike single-function factory robots, Digit is designed to perform a variety of tasks, often right alongside people. In many ways, it’s the best co-worker imaginable. Digit is quiet, monitors all movement around it, and adjusts as necessary. It’s impervious to boredom or repetitive-motion injuries. Digit, in short, is a tool that provides an ideal complement to a traditional workforce. According to CTO Jonathan Hurst, “What we’re really getting to now, and really core to the mission of our company, is building robots that can operate like people, in human spaces, work with us, and really augment the workforce’s capabilities in our world.”
Where? Albany, Oregon
Agility could have easily chosen the Portland Metro area or even Silicon Valley as their headquarters. Instead, they’ve set up shop just outside Albany, Oregon — a small town in the mid-Willamette Valley. Here, less than an hour from Oregon’s two largest universities, they are able to leverage programs and job candidates from both campuses. Most importantly, they are helping to build a new, living-wage job sector in rural Oregon.Learn More about Agility Robotics
We can just achieve more, build more, and create more than at any point in history, and these robots are going to allow us to continue that trend, allow us to create more in the future than we can today.— Jonathan Hurst, Chief Technology Office, Agility Robotics
Milo McIver State Park
Just outside of Portland, Milo McIver is a peaceful park that offers great access to the Clackamas River, including an accessible Kayak launch.
Wallowa Lake State Park
A destination in its own right, but also a basecamp for northeast Oregon’s wilderness adventures.
State Capitol State Park
Yes, the grounds of our State Capitol are actually a state park!
Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site
The park that sparked the Oregon State Parks system!
Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site
Not all sites administered by Oregon State Parks spotlight camping, swimming, and other outdoor recreation. Some, like Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site, are preserved and managed because of their unique historical importance to Oregonians. Iwetemlaykin (pronounced Ee-weh-TEMM-lye-kinn) is one such place. A rolling grassland nestled just south of Joseph, Iwetemlaykin is a sacred place to area tribes. Its name translates to, “at the edge of the lake.” The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department opened the 62-acre site in 2009. The State paid $4.1 million for the property, funded by a Lottery grant and donations from three tribes: the Nez Perce, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Now open to the public, Iwetemlaykin is preserved as a place of respectful contemplation and reflection, in keeping with its character from the days before western settlement. It is a sacred site, now protected from development, and open to all.
LOTTERY DOLLARS DOING GOOD THINGS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Hot Dice Crossword
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Celebrating State Parks
Join us in celebrating 100 years of Oregon’s State Parks. This five-dollar charmer pays homage to three of our state’s natural wonders: Silver Falls, Smith Rock, and Wallowa Lake. Maybe you’ve visited one of these scenic places (if you haven’t, you should) or maybe you just like beautiful tickets that feature your gorgeous home state. Or maybe you just want to take a shot at winning that Oregon-inspired top prize of $50,000? Show some in-state love and pickup all three of these commemorative tickets next time you hike, bike or raft your way to the store. And remember, when you play, you help provide valuable funding for Oregon’s State Parks.
Amp up the fun with Electric Dice Scratch-its. That high-voltage excitement will be thrumming in your ears as you scratch away your numbers to see if you match four buzzing, bright winning numbers. You could win up to 20 times on a single ticket, all the way up to a top prize of $50,000. So cut the current and handle with care. Electric Dice could deliver the shock of your life!
If seven is a lucky number, a Scratch-it named “777” must be extra special in the luck department! And the 7s keep coming with this sleek, $5 ticket with a chance at a top prize of $70,000. This triple-seven isn’t a Boeing Dreamliner, but it could be your ride to a dream-come-true. Pick up 777 Scratch-its and get scratching today!
Stacks of Cash
There’s a little Scrooge McDuck in all of us, right? Who wouldn’t love rolling in dough and watching a waterfall of gold coins slip through your fingers? If you’re ready to channel your own inner cartoon duck, Stacks of Cash is the Scratch-it for you! This is a big one, folks—not just the ticket itself, but the top prize too. Scratch-and-match your numbers to the winning numbers for a chance at prizes, all the way up to $100,000! — and that’s one heck of a stack of cash. Play Stacks of Cash today!