(TotalConservative.com) – A startup company has raised over $70 million in investment capital for its plan to release commercially viable humanoid robots designed for general-purpose tasks. Figure founder and chief executive Brett Adcock put $20 million of his personal wealth into the company and raised the rest from firms like Bold Ventures and Aliya Capital. This was the first round of external fundraising.
The funds will be put toward the development and manufacturing of their first autonomous humanoid robot which they claim will launch in the next few months. The company is only one year old, and sources are estimating an initial valuation in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The specs for their robots suggest they will be 1.6 meters tall, have enough battery charge to run for 5 hours, and be able to carry a 20kg payload while only weighing 60kg itself.
The Sunnyvale, California company plans to provide general-use robots that could be employed in a variety of settings. They expect there could be retail use in commercial warehouses, if they’re product is as good as they claim, Amazon employees and other stock workers may soon find themselves out of a job.
If an employer has to pay someone ~$35,000 a year and could simply buy a robot for less, that makes compelling financial sense to replace the individual with an automaton. Add in benefits like the ability to work long hours, in hostile conditions, require fewer breaks, and never complain to HR or fail to show up on time and the risk to unskilled labor begins to dramatically multiply.
Adcock said Figure is different from Boston Dynamics and Amazon Robotics in that they’re designing general-use humanoid machines that have many more applications than robots designed specifically for a single or handful of tasks. Tesla is one of Figure’s competitors, and they showcased their prototype nicknamed ‘Optimus’ last year. Musk said at the time that he expected a further 3-5 years in development and they’d be priced at under $20,000 each.
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