Humanoid robot start-up attracts investment from tech giants

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Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, along with the likes of Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI are among a host of companies that are now investing in Figure AI, a start-up that develops human-like robots.

Figure AI is looking to raise in the region of $675 million in its latest funding round and Bezos has committed $100 million through his firm Explore Investments. Microsoft is investing $95 million, while Nvidia and an Amazon-affiliated fund are each providing a further $50 million, according to reports.

OpenAI, which at one point considered acquiring Figure, is itself investing $5 million.

Figure AI is a developer of general-purpose humanoid robots that can work in different environments and are able to carry out multiple tasks.

According to its CEO, Brett Adcock, while single-purpose robotics have now saturated the commercial market, the potential of general-purpose robotics is completely untapped.

Figure AI is currently working with BMW looking at how best to use its general-purpose robots to make cars and there are plans to deploy these robots at BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Collectively, large technology companies now appear to be shaping and increasingly influencing investment strategies. They are not only at the forefront of technological change but are also now becoming key drivers in terms of economic and industrial change.