Hobbit Business Review

Jeff Bezos, Microsoft, and Nvidia All Decided To Invest in a $2.6 Billion Humanoid Robot Startup

Figure AI, a robotics startup that’s engineering human-like bipedal robots that could one day take over human tasks, stated on Thursday that it raised $675 million from high-profile investors, including Jeff Bezos. The company, which was founded in 2022, is now valued at $2.6 billion.

Figure AI’s master plan appears to be transforming various industries, “from corporate labor roles (3+ billion humans), to assisting individuals in the home (2+ billion), to caring for the elderly (~1 billion), and to building new worlds on other planets,” according to the company.

For now, the startup is aiming to be involved in industries like manufacturing, shipping, and retail, “where labor shortages are the most severe.”

The first offering from the startup is Figure 01, a general-purpose robot that walks on two legs and has five-fingered hands. A video showing the robot in action highlights that it can walk to a stack of crates, pick one up, and place it on a conveyor belt.

A status update slide before the footage showed that the robot’s speed when compared to a human is currently 16.7%.

“Figure 01 is completing fully autonomous tasks,” Figure AI wrote in the video.

Figure AI stated as part of the deal on Thursday that it would partner with OpenAI, the nonprofit behind ChatGPT, to incorporate generative AI into its human-like robots. Microsoft has made a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, and also invested $95 million in Figure AI, according to Bloomberg.

Nvidia and an Amazon-affiliated fund are investing $50 million each in Figure AI, and Amazon founder Bezos committed $100 million through his firm Explore Investments LLC. Amazon has seven different robotics companies in its $1 billion innovation fund portfolio, from Agility Robotics to Bionic Hive.

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