Artificial intelligence company Figure has raised $70 million toward its goal of commercialized, humanoid robots.
The Series A round, announced Wednesday (May 24) is part of a wave of recent funding in the artificial intelligence (AI) space, and is designed to help the company build robots to address labor shortages and do jobs often considered unsafe.
“Figure’s near-term goal is to deploy humanoids into the workforce, and we believe that the structured, repetitive, and often dangerous tasks in warehouses are a great potential first application,” Brett Adcock, the firm’s founder and CEO, said in a news release.
“This investment round will support the testing of early warehouse solutions and gives us the ability to move and iterate quickly ahead of commercial operations.”
According to the release, Figure has in the last 12 months finished the construction, integration and testing of the alpha prototype of “Figure 01,” its autonomous humanoid robot. The company said it has also identified applications for the robot in industries with the most pressing labor shortages, including manufacturing, shipping and logistics, warehousing and retail.
The company’s funding announcement came in the wake of two other firms announcing multimillion dollar deals to finance their AI projects.
On Tuesday (May 23), AI firm Anthropic announced a $450 million Series C round, with plans to use the fund to support its work “developing helpful, harmless, and honest AI systems—including Claude, an AI assistant that can perform a wide variety of conversational and text processing tasks.”
Also Tuesday, London’s Builder.ai said it had raised $250 million to expand its artificial AI-powered software platform and placed a greater focus on “using human conversation as the primary user interface for allowing people to build software rather than the expert-laden white-canvas systems we are used to seeing in the no-code/low-code space.”
And although the technology continues to make headlines, PYMNTS wrote Wednesday that it has been driving efficiencies for years, especially in the payments space, where automated machine learning (ML) and predictive AI solutions help companies help firms streamline formerly manual processes such as accounts payable and fraud prevention.
Areas such as these will be the “easiest and first” avenues where applications of generative AI can have an immediate effect, Tom Randklev, global head of product at payment orchestration platform CellPoint Digital, said in an interview with PYMNTS.
“Generative AI can essentially retrain the old AI and machine learning models,” Randklev said, adding that he sees a “really interesting trajectory [for AI] when it comes to payments.”