Figure AI Humanoid Robot Takes First Steps as Startup Gets Investment From Intel

Figure AI said its Figure 01 'general-purpose' system is advancing in the humanoid robot race.

Figure AI

Figure 01 is intended to start with supply chain applications.
Figure AI has received $9 million from Intel Capital in addition to its existing Series A funding to continue work on its Figure 01, one of several humanoids in development.

More companies are making strides toward functional humanoid robots. Figure AI Inc. today announced that Intel Capital has made a $9 million equity investment to accelerate the development of its Figure 01 “general-purpose” robot.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Figure said the funding will also strengthen its balance sheet, help it build out a data pipeline for autonomous operations, and enable it to continue its drive toward commercialization. The company said it is designing its humanoid robot to address labor shortages and jobs that are undesirable or unsafe, as well as to support supply chains on a global scale.

Figure, which has about 50 employees, emerged from “stealth mode” in March and raised $70 million in initial Series A funding in May.

Figure 01 takes first steps, joining humanoid race

Figure AI noted that its latest funding came as its robot took its first steps, less than a year after the company's founding.

“Figure 01 entered the testing phase a few months ago and reached many technical milestones led by a best-in-class engineering team,” stated the company in a press release.

Humanoid robots have received renewed interest, with several companies rapidly developing legged models in parallel with advances in artificial intelligence. The global market for such systems could expand from $1.8 billion in 2023 to $13.8 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.2%, predicted Markets and Markets.

In October 2022, Tesla showed progress in its development of the Optimus robot. In May 2023, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Sanctuary AI unveiled its Phoenix “sixth-generation, general purpose robot.”

NASA and Woodside Energy this month said they are testing a Valkyrie robot for remote operations at the Australian energy company's facilities. More sensationally, a United Nations event featured nine humanoid robots in “the first human-robot press conference,” with much of the questions and coverage focusing on perceived threats (see video below).

Shanghai-based Fourier Intelligence last week announced its Fourier GR-1, which it claimed will be the first mass-produced humanoid designed to help aging populations in China.

Intel Capital joins leading investors

Intel Capital joined existing investors in Figure including Parkway Venture Capital, Brett Adcock, Aliya Capital, Bold Capital Partners, Tamarack Global, FJ labs, and former KUKA Robotics CEO Till Reuter.

“Intel Capital is constantly searching for companies that push the boundaries of innovation, and we believe that Figure has the potential to shift the way the world thinks about artificial intelligence,” said Mark Lydon, managing director at Intel Capital. “Figure's focus on enhancing the labor economy is an essential part of our future, and we look forward to being at the forefront to support humanoid development.”

“Intel Capital is at the forefront of making big, bold frontier bets, and we are excited to share the same vision of a better future,” said Brett Adcock, founder and CEO of Figure. “This investment, along with the global resources and expertise of the Intel team, will help accelerate the growth and success of Figure.”

Figure is an AI Robotics company building an "autonomous general purpose humanoid robot."

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Figure AI

Figure 01 is intended to start with supply chain applications.

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