Microsoft and OpenAI to Invest $500M in Humanoid Robots

K. C. Sabreena Basheer 02 Feb, 2024 • 2 min read

In an interesting move, Microsoft and OpenAI are reportedly in talks to inject a substantial investment of up to $500 million into Figure AI Inc., a pioneering startup specializing in humanoid robotics. The potential collaboration aims to propel the development of an AI-powered humanoid robot named Figure 01, designed to undertake perilous tasks unsuitable for human workers. While details remain in the negotiation phase, the investment could mark a significant leap in the burgeoning field of AI robotics.

Figure AI's Figure 01 Humanoid Robots

Funding Talks and Potential Valuation

Figure AI Inc. is currently engaged in discussions with Microsoft and OpenAI to secure a substantial investment of $500 million. If the deal materializes, Microsoft is expected to contribute around $95 million, accompanied by a $5 million investment from OpenAI. These funds could catapult Figure AI’s valuation to a staggering $1.9 billion, signifying its potential ascent to unicorn status.

Figure AI’s Mission and Figure 01

Figure AI, founded in 2022, is dedicated to the development of humanoid robots designed to address labor shortages and perform tasks considered unsafe for humans. Their greatest innovation is the Figure 01, an AI-powered humanoid robot engineered to resemble and move like a human. With applications spanning across industries such as manufacturing, warehousing, and retail, the company envisions a future where its robots contribute significantly to global supply chains.

Also Read: ChatGPT Robot: The Future of Household Chores is Here!

Industry Dynamics and Recent Developments

The robotics industry has witnessed a surge in activity, with Figure AI’s counterparts making significant strides. OpenAI-backed 1X Technologies AS recently raised $100 million, emphasizing the growing interest in humanoid robotics. Concurrently, Sanctuary AI and Tesla Inc. are also making strides in this arena, showcasing a tough competition for technological dominance.

Also Read: Meet Phoenix Robot of Sanctuary AI and Tesla’s Latest Launch, Optimus!

Microsoft and OpenAI to Invest $500M in Humanoid Robots

Strategic Partnerships and Future Prospects

Figure AI’s strategic collaboration with BMW further underlines its commitment to integrating humanoid robots into real-world applications. The partnership involves trials of Figure AI’s robots in a South Carolina factory, aiming to automate challenging and tedious tasks in automotive manufacturing. As Elon Musk hints at the possibility of shipping Tesla’s humanoid robot Optimus, the race to deploy advanced robots in diverse industries intensifies.

Also Read: Figure’s Humanoids Set to Automate BMW’s Manufacturing Process

Our Say

In the dynamic realm of AI & robotics, Figure AI’s quest to create cutting-edge humanoid robots resonates with broader industry trends. The prospective investment from tech giants Microsoft and OpenAI validates the startup’s vision. It also underscores the transformative impact humanoid robots can have on various sectors.

As language models and robotics converge, the potential for groundbreaking advancements in the future of work becomes increasingly palpable. The collaboration between Microsoft, OpenAI, and Figure AI would definitely mark a significant milestone in the future of AI-driven robotics.

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