Figure AI to Raise $675 million for Labour-Solving Humanoid Robotics

Figure AI to Raise $675 million for Labour-Solving Humanoid Robotics

Nvidia and founder Jeff Bezos, along with other big technology names, are investing in a startup called Figure AI that develops human-like robots.

According to the report, Figure AI, backed by ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and Microsoft, is raising about $675 million in a funding round with a pre-money valuation of about $2 billion.

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Bezos has pledged one hundred million dollars through his company, Explore Investments LLC. Microsoft contributes $95 million, while $50 million each comes from Nvidia and a fund connected to Inc.

Interests in robotics

The artificial intelligence (AI) sector now sees robots as a crucial new frontier, enabling it to apply modern technology to practical jobs. Engineers at Figure are developing a robot that mimics human appearance and gait. 

However, other IT corporations are participating as well. The venture capital division of Intel Corp. is contributing $25 million, while LG Innotek is donating $8.5 million. Meanwhile, Samsung’s investment department made a $5 million pledge. Parkway Venture Capital, contributing $100 million, and Align Ventures, contributing $90 million, are also among the backers.

OpenAI is another investor, and according to the report, they were once considering acquiring Figure AI. The funding round started with Microsoft and OpenAI as the initial lead investors. Those big names helped attract the influx of cash from the other entities.

The report stated that formal agreements will be signed on Monday (Feb. 26), but the numbers may change.

Anticipating the humanoid robotics

Additionally, the business has expressed anticipation that Figure AI, its machine, would be able to carry out hazardous jobs inappropriate for humans and that its technology would assist in addressing the labour problem.

According to the report, the AI robotics sector has been buzzing with activity as the field uses artificial intelligence for practical tasks. 1X Technologies, Sanctuary AI, Tesla, and Agility Robotics are other companies developing AI robots. Based in Vancouver, Sanctuary AI is developing a humanoid robot called Phoenix. Also, Tesla Inc. is working on a robot called Optimus, and Elon Musk calls it one of his most important projects.

About nine months will pass between the next fundraising and the last, in which Figure AI raised $70 million.

Steps ahead

At the time, Figure AI stated that the funding would help test preliminary warehouse solutions. The manufacturing, shipping and logistics, warehousing and retail sectors are among those where the company has identified applications for the robot because of pressing labour shortages.

According to the company’s founder and CEO, Brett Adcock, Figure’s near-term goal is to deploy humanoids into the workforce, and they believe that the structured, repetitive, and often dangerous tasks in a warehouse are a great potential first application.

Robotics companies like Figure AI are optimistic that humanoid robotic devices will be designed for warehouse tasks. These devices can help fill the gap for smaller or more cautious businesses looking to stay competitive in an increasingly autonomous environment without putting it all on future-fit architecture.

Furthermore, these robots don’t need the infrastructure of a warehouse to be remodeled because they can operate efficiently in human spaces.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.