The nearly human nature of generative AI responses has become a global hot topic with one side envisioning a world of augmented assistants, and others questioning the ethics of powerful AI models as they move closer to general AI autonomy.
Text interaction is one thing, but many companies are now racing to combine generative AI models with human-like robots.
In the previous year, notable players such as Tesla, Apptronik, and Figure entered the arena with their cutting-edge robots.
Agility Robotics made strides by announcing a warehouse pilot collaboration with Amazon.
In April 2023, 1X, a Norwegian firm, made a splash with a $23.5 million fundraising round.
What made this newsworthy was not the size of the investment but one of the players involved.
OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, was one of the leading investors in 1X which opened up speculation of how the 1X robots would utilize ChatGPT under the covers.
More recently, 1X made headlines again by securing $100 million in Series B funding, bringing their total fundraising to $125 million.
The spotlight shifted from OpenAI to EQT Ventures as the lead contributor.
At the core of 1X’s strategy is their humanoid robot, NEO.
Designed to address global labor shortages, NEO follows the logic that humanoids are the optimal form factor for navigating environments created by and for humanoids.
The merging of generative AI interactions promises to make the actions of robots like NEO even more life-like.
Despite its ambitions, NEO faces skepticism from many who argue that truly general-purpose humanoid robots are further off than many believe.
However, the technological advances are undeniable and these robots offer more and more capabilities every day.