Tech titans pump US$675 million into robot startup

Tech titans pump US$675 million into robot startup

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, OpenAI, Nvidia, Intel and Samsung are among the technology titans investing US$675 million in Figure AI Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), according to a Bloomberg report.

Bezos has promised US$100 million via his Explore Investments LLC fun and Microsoft is investing $95 million. Nvidia and an Amazon-affiliated fund are each providing US$50 million, the report added.

OpenAI, which at one point considered acquiring Figure, is investing $5 million, the report added. Other investors include Intel’s venture capital arm Samsung Ventures and LG Innotek. The raise values the 2022 startup at more than US$2 billion.

BMW deal

Last month Figure announced it had signed an agreement with BMW Manufacturing Co. LLC to deploy general-purpose humanoid robots in automotive factories.

“Single-purpose robotics have saturated the commercial market for decades, but the potential of general-purpose robotics is completely untapped. Figure’s robots will enable companies to increase productivity, reduce costs, and create a safer and more consistent environment,” said Brett Adcock, founder and CEO of Figure, in a statement issued at the time.

Under the agreement the two companies will work together to introduce Figure robors at BMW’s manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In parallel the two companies will collaborate on artificial intelligence, robot control, manufacturing virtualization, and robot integration.

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