Tesla’s Optimus Prime humanoid robot was a disappointment, but a new outfit called Figure has something they think is a step up: Figure 1. We can say for sure that they are better at making videos their robot than Tesla was, but the video (which cannot be embedded here — sorry) doesn’t actually show the new robot in action.
There is a new robot, though. Figure says that they have made a “general purpose humanoid.” Actually they claim that they are bringing it to life. They expect their creation to start out in industries like manufacturing, shipping and logistics, warehousing and retail, which are currently facing sever labor shortages. They point out that physical labor accounts for half the costs of goods and half the international GDP.
As their robots take over all the jobs involving physical labor, worker shortages will become a thing of the past and the costs of material goods will decrease. Once their robots can build new robots, the price of the robots will also fall, leading to greater physical comfort as humans “leave the loop.” This will lead to greater abundance of goods and services and “more wealth for everyone.”
Clearly aware of the fear people have of seeing their jobs taken over by robots, they clearly say at their website, “Our focus is on providing resources for jobs that humans don’t want to perform.”
The humanoid plan
At 5’6″ and 132 lbs, Figure 1 is about the size of the average woman. Our world is designed for human beings, the makers figure, so a humanoid robot of about human size will be able to fit in easily. They expect it to take over all the jobs classified as physical labor, plus home care and care of the elderly.
Once it has accomplished these things, it can head to outer space. The three big commercial opportunities Figure lists are physical labor, household tasks and “off-world space exploration to build new worlds.”
While robots normally are programmed to perform a single task with perfect repetition, Figure 1 will be able to learn new tasks and eventually take on millions of different jobs. Putting this planned capacity together with enormous volume production and integration into the human workforce, Figure will revolutionize automation.
That’s the plan.
In the meantime, we can provide expert service and support for your Indramat motion control systems. The people who built the original Indramat drive and control machinery could not even have imagined AI-enhanced humanoid robots outside of science fiction, but those original components are still doing a great job in hundreds of manufacturing facilities today. If you have Indramat systems in place, we can help.
Call us at (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance.