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Manufacturer of humanoid robots Figure has entered into a partnership with OpenAI and received investments of $675 million

Figure is less than two years old and has no commercial product, but it is actively persuading influential tech investors to support its vision of bringing billions of humanoid robots into the workplace and homes of people around the world.



And now OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, intends to integrate its artificial intelligence systems into humanoid robot bodies as part of a new agreement with Figure.


Figure, based in Sunnyvale, California, announced the partnership Thursday along with raising $675 million in venture capital funding from a group that includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft, chip maker Nvidia and the venture arms of Amazon, Intel and OpenAI.



For OpenAI, which previously focused on robotics research before pivoting to the AI behind ChatGPT, the partnership “opens up new opportunities for robotics in everyday life,” said Peter Welinder, the company’s vice president of products and partnerships.


Financial details of the deal between Figure and OpenAI were not disclosed. The collaboration involves OpenAI creating custom AI models for Figure’s humanoid robots, likely building on existing developments such as GPT language models, the DALL-E image generator, and the new Sora video generator.


This will help “accelerate the commercialization” of Figure’s products by giving robots the ability to “process and analyze language,” according to a company statement. In January, it announced a deal with BMW to place its robots at a plant in Spartanburg (South Carolina), but specifics on timing and tasks have not yet been determined.


Robotics experts are divided on the usefulness of humanoid forms of robots. Most robots used in factories and warehouses may have some animal-like features—arms, grippers, or even legs—but are not truly humanoid. This is partly because it took engineers decades to develop effective robotic limbs.


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