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Figure & OpenAI: Transforming Robotics with AI Integration & $675M Backing

Figure, a humanoid robot-maker, partners with OpenAI to integrate AI systems into their robots. The partnership is accompanied by a $675 million investment from tech giants, including Jeff Bezos and Microsoft. Figure aims to ship billions of human-like robots to workplaces and homes.

Humanoid robot-maker Figure has announced a groundbreaking partnership with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, to integrate artificial intelligence systems into their robots. The collaboration comes alongside a significant investment of $675 million from tech giants including Jeff Bezos, Microsoft, Nvidia, Intel, and OpenAI.


Figure, a young robotics startup based in Sunnyvale, California, aims to revolutionise the industry by developing human-like robots for various workplaces and homes. Despite being less than two years old and without a commercial product, Figure has managed to garner support from influential backers who share their vision.


CEO of Figure, Brett Adcock, expressed his optimism about the potential of humanoid robots, stating, "If we can just get humanoids to do work that humans are not wanting to do because there's a shortfall of humans, we can sell millions of humanoids, billions maybe."


For OpenAI, this partnership marks a shift from their previous focus on AI language models to exploring the integration of AI into physical robots. Peter Welinder, Vice President of Product and Partnerships at OpenAI, believes that this collaboration will unlock new possibilities for robots in everyday life.


The financial details of the deal between Figure and OpenAI have not been disclosed. However, the collaboration will involve OpenAI developing specialised AI models for Figure's humanoid robots, potentially utilising their existing technologies such as GPT language models, DALL-E image-generator, and Sora video-generator.


This integration of AI capabilities will enable Figure's robots to process and reason from language, ultimately accelerating their commercial timeline. While Figure has already secured an agreement with BMW to deploy their robots at a car plant in South Carolina, the specific applications and implementation are yet to be determined.

Opinions among robotics experts vary regarding the practicality and usefulness of humanoid robots. While some argue that human-like features make them relatable and engaging, others highlight the technical challenges and long-term commitment required for successful deployment.


Whitney Rockley, co-founder and managing partner of McRock Capital, a venture capital firm, acknowledges the appeal of humanoid robots but remains cautious due to the significant technical hurdles involved. She prefers to invest in non-humanoid robots, emphasising the importance of realistic timelines for commercial success.


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently expressed renewed interest in robotics, indicating that the company is now investing in promising hardware platforms after temporarily halting their own research. Altman emphasised the need for intelligence and cognition before addressing physicality in robotics development.

 
  • Figure, a humanoid robot-maker, partners with OpenAI to integrate AI systems into their robots.

  • The partnership is accompanied by a $675 million investment from tech giants, including Jeff Bezos and Microsoft.

  • Figure aims to ship billions of human-like robots to workplaces and homes.


Source: AP NEWS

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