This humanoid robot went from coffee delivery boy to car builder in just a few years

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Figure has partnered with BMW

Figure has partnered with BMW

© Figure

Automated work seems to have a bright future. A few months ago, Mercedes announced that it was using Apptronik Apollo robots to complete simple tasks, such as carrying objects or transporting them from one place to another. Figure is also one of the companies with a good shot at the robotics of the future, having signed an agreement with BMW earlier this year to integrate its humanoid robots into the carmaker's factories.

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The company’s robots are capable of performing a variety of tasks, including sheet metal handling, body shop operations, and overall warehouse supervision. Like any new employee, Figure’s robots are currently undergoing training, which can be completed in 24 months. Once completed, they will be directly integrated into the plant’s manufacturing process, with specific tasks to perform.

Humanoid robots with a small margin of error

The robots, which are 1.6 meters tall and weigh 60 kilos, operate solely on an electric battery with a total autonomy of 5 hours. They have a neural network that allows the manipulation of objects by converting the pixels of their integrated camera into actions. All this is made possible by a language model provided by OpenAI, which in return draws data from the robot. According to Figure, artificial intelligence allows for the precise placement of a metal sheet with a margin of error of 1 centimeter. In other words, humanoid robots do not yet offer perfect manipulations, but this will not be long in coming if we consider the recent advances in artificial intelligence.

Note that Figure is far from being the only company working on automation in factories: Tesla, Kepler, Unitree or Boston Dynamics are all competitors who offer similar tools.

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