Robotics company Figure AI closes in on $675 million funding round

February 24, 2024
AI robot

Robotics startup Figure AI is on the brink of a $675 million funding round, setting its sights on a future where robots could redefine the workforce. 

The roster of investors reads like a who’s who of the tech and investment world, with Jeff Bezos’ Explore Investments leading the charge, accompanied by OpenAI, Microsoft, Nvidia, Intel’s venture arm, LG Innotek, and Samsung’s investment group, among others.

At the heart of Figure AI‘s mission is the creation of ‘Figure 01,’ a humanoid robot engineered to perform tasks that are currently deemed too hazardous for humans, addressing critical labor shortages. 

Reflecting on the company’s aspirations, CEO Brett Adcock said, “Our near-term goal is to deploy humanoids into the workforce, and we’re convinced that the structured, repetitive, and often risky tasks found in warehouses present an ideal starting point.” 

This would bridge AI with physical android-like robots – the kind we’ve imagined in science fiction literature and films for decades. 

While the warehouse is the first frontier for this technology, Figure AI has bold ambitions. Figure 01 has already learned how to make coffee, among other tasks, and certainly looks the part. 

In the near term, though, this signals another threat to jobs and workplaces. AI is already forecast to replace low-paid service jobs in the near future, but the WEF believes even advanced jobs will be challenged over this decade. 

The creative sector is already feeling the impacts, with mass lay-offs already hitting numerous games and animation studios. 

What is Figure AI?

Figure AI aims to expand human capabilities by developing advanced, general-purpose humanoid robots.

Founded by Brett Adcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with a track record of successful ventures, Figure AI says it’s committed to leveraging AI and robotics for the greater good.

This initially involves crafting robots to replace humans in unsafe and undesirable jobs, particularly in manufacturing and retail. 

In the words of Brett Adcock, “We are on a mission to build a company that not only leads in the field of robotics but also makes a positive, indelible mark on humanity. Our robots are more than machines; they are a beacon of hope for a future where technology and humanity converge to unlock new possibilities.” 

However, this is just the beginning.

As Figure AI’s technology evolves – which looks certain amid this latest funding round – so will the applications of their humanoid until humans and robots and humans eventually work side by side to achieve goals and aspirations.

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Sam Jeans

Sam is a science and technology writer who has worked in various AI startups. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading medical journals or digging through boxes of vinyl records.

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