Intel backs $9M funding for robotics startup Figure to build advanced autonomous humanoid robots
Robotics startups appear to be having a great week despite the ongoing funding drought. Earlier today, we wrote about Rice Robotics after the Hong Kong-based startup raised $7 million in pre-Series A funding to build the software and hardware infrastructure to help the next generation of businesses deploy autonomous robots at scale. Now, Silicon Valley-based robotics startup Figure just announced it has received a funding boost from chip giant Intel.
In an email to TechStartups, Figure told us it has raised a $9 million investment made by Intel Capital to build advanced autonomous humanoid robots, joining the crowded field of startups working toward a general-purpose humanoid. Other companies looking to address this immensely difficult problem include Tesla, Apptronik, and Open AI-backed 1X.
However, unlike other humanoid robotic startups, Figure is not focused on developing robots that just perform a wide variety of tasks. Instead, Figure is building robots that are specifically designed to address labor shortages, hazardous or undesirable jobs, and to provide support for global supply chains.
Founded in 2022 by Brett Adcock, Figure aims to revolutionize industries by introducing these highly capable robots to enhance productivity and improve overall efficiency. Figure’s humanoid robot is designed to be deployed in the workforce to address labor shortages, and undesirable or unsafe jobs, and to support global supply chains.
Figure will also use the new cash infusion from Intel Capital to expand its AI data pipeline, drive the company toward commercialization, and accelerate the progress of Figure 01, its autonomous humanoid robot that recently took its first steps less than one year after the company’s inception – one of the quickest turnarounds in humanoid history.
Figure’s AI robotics has the potential to revolutionize the workforce. By automating tasks that are currently performed by humans, Figure’s robots could help to address labor shortages and to improve safety in the workplace, and improve the efficiency of global supply chains.
“Intel Capital is at the forefront of making big, bold frontier bets and we are excited to share the same vision of a better future,” Adcock said in a news release. “This investment along with the global resources and expertise of the Intel team will help accelerate the growth and success of Figure.”
In a statement, Intel Capital managing director Mark Lydon said: “Intel Capital is constantly searching for companies that push the boundaries of innovation, and we believe that Figure has the potential to shift the way the world thinks about artificial intelligence.” He also added, “Figure’s focus on enhancing the labor economy is an essential part of our future, and we look forward to being at the forefront to support humanoid development.”
Meanwhile, Figure’s team is still small, with only 50 people. However, the startup has been doing a lot of strategic hiring, bringing in former employees from places like Boston Dynamics, Tesla, and Apple, further showing that Figure is serious about its mission to build advanced autonomous humanoid robots.