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Figure AI: Humanoid robot maker given $2.6bn valuation by Jeff Bezos

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Figure AI has been valued at $2.6 billion by investors such as Jeff Bezos, Nvidia, and Microsoft.

The startup, focused on developing humanoid robots capable of handling dangerous and undesirable tasks, successfully raised $675 million in funding, exceeding its initial goal of $500 million in a round led by Microsoft Corp.

Established in 2022, the California-based company aims to target industries facing significant labor shortages like manufacturing, shipping, logistics, warehousing, and retail. Founder Brett Adcock announced a collaboration agreement with OpenAI to create advanced AI models for robots

“Our goal at Figure is to deploy humanoid robots in commercial settings at the earliest opportunity. This investment, along with our partnerships with OpenAI and Microsoft, positions us to introduce embodied AI that can have a profound impact on society,” said Adcock.

He further stated, “AI and robotics represent the future, and I appreciate the backing of investors and partners who share our vision.”

Figure recently showcased Figure 01’s abilities in a video where the robot, connected via a tether, walked on two legs, manipulated a plastic crate with its fingers, and placed it on a conveyor belt. In a previous demonstration in January, the company exhibited a robot making coffee.

The emergence of humanoid robots

Last year, the UN’s International Telecommunication Union organized its first press conference showcasing humanoid social robots. The event featured nine robots meticulously designed to resemble humans, including Hanson Robotics’ Sophia, robots programmed by various entities like Beyond Imagination, the University of Geneva, Hiroshi Ishiguro, and others.

The conference focused on fostering collaboration for new projects, calls to action, and partnerships. It included discussions by industry leaders and demonstrations of cutting-edge AI solutions with the potential for global impact, supported by the international AI for Good community.

1X Technologies also announced a breakthrough in teaching skills to its android EVE through specialized neural networks, enabling the bots to learn by observing people perform tasks. Like Figure AI, the Norway-based humanoid robotics company is endorsed by OpenAI.

Featured image: Canva / DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

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