AI robotics startup Figure has attracted investment funds for $70 million.
These funds will be used to implement a project to create a humanoid robot. According to startup specialists, in the future, this device will be able to perform a wide range of tasks that are traditionally considered subject only to humans.
The company from Sunnyvale, California, believes that its futuristic robot Figure 01 will solve the problem of labor shortage. The startup also claims that its brainchild will be able to do dangerous work and help support the global supply chain. The relevant information is contained in the company’s message, published on the occasion of attracting investment funds.
Parkway Venture Capital, Aliya Capital, Bold Ventures, Tamarack Global, FJ Labs and Neura Robotics CEO Till Reuter participated in the financing process of the firm.
The founder and chief executive officer of the startup, Brett Adcock, is convinced that his company will be one of the first to introduce a humanoid on the market, whose existence will be useful and will have the property of integration into the process of commercial activity. He also stated that, in his opinion, repetitive and in some cases containing an element of dangerous tasks in warehouses are a potential option for the first application of robots within a single industry.
Adcock founded Figure in 2022. Currently, the startup’s staff includes 50 people, including former employees of Boston Dynamics, Tesla Inc., Google Research Laboratory, and others. The company, like many other developers of humanoid robots, considers the scenario of its application for work in warehouses as the most likely option for the commercialization of the product.
Figure operates in the robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles market, which is currently actively expanding. The total amount of capital raised by the startup by the end of 2022 is $ 5.73 billion.
There is a high level of competition in the robotics market. For example, Sanctuary AI, which is based in Vancouver, is currently working on several versions of the humanoid robot Phoenix, 170-. The Norwegian firm 1X, operating in the same industry, received $23.5 million in funding from OpenAI and other companies in March. Elon Musk announced that Tesla is working on a humanoid robot named Optimus.
Figure plans to offer its robot to customers on a contract basis, subject to subscription. Adcock says that such a format of commercial relationships with consumers will make development more accessible and provide the startup with the opportunity to update software and hardware in parallel.
Figure 01 will be demonstrated over the next 12 months. Testing of the robot will be carried out on commercial premises. The startup predicts that in test mode, the device will be used by one or two customers in a period of two to five years. Only after that, the process of wider application of the robot will be launched.
Adcock stated that the possibility of integrating generative artificial intelligence into Figure 01 is currently being studied. According to him, this solution will improve the semantic behavior of the robot and increase the level of human command understanding.
Generative AI, which was popularized by OpenAI ChatGPT, uses algorithms to process large text materials and data to create new content in various forms, including text, audio, and video.
Google researchers have already begun work on combining artificial intelligence with generative capabilities with robots. They created the PaLM-E language model, which combines visual and verbal commands.
Adcock says that in the future, the interaction of humans and humanoids will be of particular importance.
As we have reported earlier, Uber Expands Robotic Delivery to Lower Cost.