The Robots are Coming: The Dawn of Humanoid Robots

The Robots are Coming: The Dawn of Humanoid Robots
Tesla Bots shown walking in front of a Cybertruck Image: Tesla

As we step into 2024, the landscape of humanoid robotics is rapidly evolving, with several companies making significant strides in bringing these advanced machines closer to consumer markets. Here's a comprehensive look at the key players in this domain and their groundbreaking projects.

  1. Sanctuary AI: Sanctuary AI, a company with approximately $100 million in funding, has been piloting its humanoid robots in a Canadian Tire-owned store, demonstrating their capability to perform a variety of tasks. These robots, notable for their advanced hand control and a mix of automation and teleoperation, were already seen making coffee two years ago.
Source: Sanctuary AI
  1. Figure AI: Figure AI, a startup developing humanlike robots, is reportedly in talks to raise as much as $500 million in a funding round led by Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI. This startup is a notable entrant in the humanoid robot market, although specific details about their robots and launch timelines remain under wraps.
Source: Figure AI - Microsoft and OpenAI funding
  1. Agility Robotics: Agility Robotics is constructing a 70,000-sq-ft facility in Salem, Oregon, for its humanoid robot, Digit. This facility is anticipated to produce more than 10,000 units per year. Digit, a bipedal robot with bird-like legs, is designed for tasks like moving boxes and totes. It is expected to enter general market availability in 2025, with customer deliveries beginning in 2024. Digit is equipped with camera vision, LiDAR, and can respond to natural language commands through large language model AIs.
Source: Agility Robotics
  1. Keplerbot: Kepler has unveiled its groundbreaking Kepler Forerunner series of humanoid robots, consisting of three models: K1, S1, and D1. These robots are equipped with proprietary planetary roller screws and rotary actuators, enabling dynamic limb movement and exceptional precision in hand-eye coordination. Kepler's NEBULA system, a combination of hardware and software, enhances the robots' environmental interaction capabilities. Priced between $20,000 and $30,000, Kepler plans to commence mass production in the second half of 2024, with a vision to deploy these robots in diverse fields such as education, research, emergency services, and more.
Source: Keplerbot
  1. Tesla's Optimus: Tesla, led by Elon Musk, has been developing its humanoid robot known as Optimus (formerly referred to as Tesla Bot). Optimus represents Tesla's foray into the field of humanoid robotics, leveraging the company's extensive expertise in automation, batteries, and artificial intelligence from its electric vehicle and energy storage businesses. The robot is designed to handle tasks that are unsafe, repetitive, or boring for humans. While specific details about its capabilities and release date are not fully disclosed, Musk has hinted at the potential of Optimus to transform the economy by replacing labor-intensive tasks.

The development of Optimus aligns with Tesla's broader vision of creating intelligent and versatile AI. Given the company's track record of rapidly advancing technologies like electric vehicles and energy storage, Optimus is anticipated to be a significant player in the humanoid robot market. Tesla aims to make the robot accessible to a wide range of industries, potentially altering labor dynamics across sectors. However, as of now, there is no confirmed timeline for when Optimus will be available for commercial sale.

As we await their market introductions, here's 10 hours of a cracking fireplace and a robot to bide the time.

Courtesy of Agility Robotics