This Robot is Borrowing OpenAI’s Magic to Make At-Home Droids Feel Real

We're one step closer to a world like I, Robot.

Figure 01 robot

Casually having a conversation with a robot butler might not be as far out as we thought.

Figure, an AI robotics company that’s attracted the financial backing of Microsoft and Nvidia, showed off why it deserves that investment money. In its latest demo, its Figure 01 is seen having a full-on conversation with another human, even completing tasks and requests.

The eerily conversational robot is a result of Figure’s robotic design and OpenAI’s intelligence on the backend. It may not be able to backflip off a skateboard, but the demo shows Figure 01 handing over an apple and putting away dishes. That’s not incredibly groundbreaking, but with how fast ChatGPT and other large language models are advancing, Figure 01 could see advancements quickly.

Lapping the Competition

It’s impressive to see Figure 01 smoothly navigate a normal conversation with a human, all while responding to requests and handling simple tasks. Of course, putting away dishes isn’t the most complex task, but it’s a promising start considering how Figure 01 can already identify what’s in front of it and respond accordingly in real-time.

It’s a big difference compared to the demos we saw with Tesla’s Optimus bot. While Tesla has come out with a second-generation model already, Optimus has yet to show us the same fluidity and responsiveness we’re seeing with the Figure 01 demo.

Figure says the goal is to make a “fully electromechanical humanoid” robot to handle all the physical tasks that humans have to do. So far, the Figure 01 stands 5’6”, weighs more than 132 lbs, can handle payloads up to around 44 lbs, and tops out a brisk 1.2 m/s. Figure also says there’s a runtime of five hours, so it’s not quite meant to cater to your needs 24/7.

Figure debuted its 01 humanoid robot back in October.

Figure / X

No Release Date Yet

With Figure 01, it does feel like we’re inching towards a future of at-home robots. Still, we don’t have a release date for Figure’s robot yet, but the company’s founder and CEO Brett Adcock has already said that the company wants to produce its robots at “exceptionally high volume.”

Figure hasn’t detailed any prices for its robot yet, either, but Adcock expressed optimism for trying to bring the costs down to “affordable levels.” Considering how nascent this technology is, it’s tough to determine what’s affordable or not. For reference, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk previously said that the Optimus robot is targeting a price of around $20,000.

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