OpenAI-backed 1X raises another $100M for the race to humanoid robots

OpenAI-backed 1X raises another $100M for the race to humanoid robots

technology By Jan 12, 2024 No Comments

OpenAI-backed 1X Raises Another $100M for the Race to humanoid Robots

The tech industry in 2024 is abuzz with the race to perfect the humanoid form factor. The previous year witnessed a surge in this category, with the introduction of systems by companies such as Tesla, Apptronik, and Figure.

Additionally, Agility made significant strides by announcing a warehouse pilot with amazon, signaling the intensifying competition. Amidst these developments, 1X, a Norwegian firm, has emerged as a noteworthy contender in the humanoid robotics landscape.

1X’s Funding Journey

1X initially made headlines in April with a $23.5 million round, drawing attention due to the involvement of prominent investors. Notably, OpenAI’s lead in the funding round garnered considerable interest, given the firm’s pivotal role in advancing generative AI.

Building on their early success, 1X recently announced a substantial milestone, securing a $100 million Series B investment, elevating their total fundraising to an impressive $125 million. This funding will fuel the advancement of their flagship humanoid robot, NEO, and the company’s Embodied AI offering.

The Significance of neo

NEO, 1X’s humanoid robot, is positioned as a solution to address global labor shortages. It is designed to navigate human environments efficiently, leveraging the familiarity of humanoid-designed spaces to optimize functionality.

Despite its potential, NEO has faced skepticism from critics who perceive humanoid systems as over-engineered, questioning their practicality for mainstream application. However, the integration of generative AI technology may pave the way for addressing these concerns.

Bridging the Gap with Generative AI

Generative AI holds immense promise in shaping the future of robotics. While critics highlight the distance to true general-purpose functionality, the potential of generative AI to address these challenges should not be underestimated.

The infusion of the substantial funding secured by 1X will propel the development of its generative AI technology, bolstering its capability to enhance NEO’s functionality and address existing limitations.

Addressing Personnel Contribution

CEO Bernt Øivind Børnich’s acknowledgment of the team’s pivotal role in 1X’s success highlights the company’s commitment to recognizing its workforce. The significance of this approach is further underscored by the allocation of funds to reward and motivate the dedicated team.

In addition to rewarding the team, the funding will also facilitate the enhancement of 1X’s go-to-market strategy for NEO, ensuring a robust commercialization approach for their groundbreaking humanoid robot.

Concluding Thoughts

The surge in funding and attention toward 1X’s humanoid robot, NEO, signals a pivotal advancement in the race towards perfecting the humanoid form factor. As the technological landscape evolves, the integration of generative AI holds the potential to propel humanoid robotics into transformative and practical applications.

Source: techcrunch

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