Figure Emerges From Stealth, Unveils Humanoid Robot to Support Supply Chains

Figure AI's team has experience in humanoid robots and AI and claimed that its system will find more roles to alleviate labor shortages.

Figure AI

Figure AI said its general-purpose humanoid robot will initially serve in warehouses and similar environments.
Figure AI announced that its Figure 01 humanoid robot, whose first build was completed in just six months, will initially address labor shortages in warehouses and retail.

Figure AI Inc. today emerged from stealth and unveiled Figure 01, which it claimed is “the world's first commercially viable general-purpose humanoid robot.”  The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup said its robot will be able to think, learn, and interact with its environment. Figure is designing Figure 01 for initial deployment to address labor shortages in supply chain operations.

Brett Adcock, former founder of Archer Aviation and Vettery, founded Figure AI in 2022 and said he plans to “revolutionize the field of robotics.”

“Today, we're seeing unprecedented labor shortages, with tens of millions of unsafe or undesirable jobs in the U.S. alone,” he stated. “If we want continued growth, we need more productivity — which means more automation.”

“Once Figure's humanoids are deployed to work alongside us, we'll have the potential to produce an abundance of affordable, more widely available goods and services to a degree the world has never seen,” Adcock asserted.

The company noted that there 10 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. and 7 million in warehousing, logistics, and retail. However, with only 6 million people available to fill those positions, companies will need to find other ways to remain productive, said Figure. 

Experienced team builds Figure 01

Figure AI said its team currently consists of 40 industry experts with a combined 100 years of artificial intelligence and humanoid experience from Boston Dynamics, Tesla, IHMC, GoogleX, Cruise, and Apple Special Projects Group.

Dr. Jerry Pratt joined Figure as chief technology officer. He has more than 20 years of humanoid experience from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), where he led a team in the DARPA Humanoid Robotics Challenge.

Figure said its team completed its full-scale humanoid build in just six months, and it plans to begin testing in the coming months.

According to the company, Figure 01 “combines the dexterity of the human form with cutting-edge AI to perform a wide range of tasks in various industries, such as manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and retail.”

The Figure 01 humanoid robot concept

Figure 01 is 5 ft., 6 in. (167 cm) tall and will take advantage of ongoing advances in AI, according to Figure. Source: Figure AI

Long-term goal is for humanoids to take on more roles

In the longer term, Figure AI said it expects its systems to “lead the way in eliminating the need for unsafe and undesirable jobs.” The company said its robots could assist in the home, care for the elderly, and even perform construction on other planets.

“We believe general-purpose humanoid robots have far more potential than single-purpose robots, which are currently ubiquitous within the field,” said Adcock. “In early development, the tasks Figure's humanoids complete will be structured and repetitive, but over time, and with advancements in robot learning and software, we will expand capabilities and eventually see tasks being performed better than humans.”

When asked about the future of Figure, Adcock replied, “We have the potential to impact the largest industry on the planet, and contribute to the early stages of AI and robotics to help lead the way for a positive AI future for humanity.”

Figure's announcement is just the latest in a wave of humanoid robots in development, including those from NEURA Robotics, Boston Dynamics, and Tesla. The debate over whether general-purpose, human-shaped robots or more specialized non-humanoid forms will be more useful continues, but most commercial applications have been using the latter, which are more mature.

Xiaomi's CyberOne and Tesla's Optimus are the latest humanoid robots to capture the public's imagination, but there have been countless others. See how these human-like robots have evolved over the years.

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Figure AI

Figure AI said its general-purpose humanoid robot will initially serve in warehouses and similar environments.

Robot Technologies