Figure humanoid robot walks towards the camera


Figure humanoid robot walks towards the camera -Gudstory

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In May this year, TechCrunch ran an article titled “Figure’s humanoid robot takes its first steps.” This story was a first-hand account of my visit to the startup’s South Bay offices. The title was a reference to both the company’s first year of existence and its stated plan to achieve a significant milestone by its first birthday.

Image Credit: Shape

The company later confirmed to me that it had indeed managed to get its humanoid robot walking. I asked for video evidence, which Figures has so far refused to send. Among other things, it’s clear the company wants to get a film crew to capture the bipedal motion. I prefer raw lab videos to this kind of thing, but that’s probably one of the many reasons why no one is asking me to run marketing for their robotics firm.

Two things immediately stand out to me: First, it’s nice to see a non-presenter from the company. Until now, his art has been limited to mockups of what the robot might ultimately look like. Watching this footage is a reminder that there are many steps on the way to that future of product art. Second, you might have noticed that the robot is walking with bent knees, not the completely straight motion we see in humans.

On the other hand, bent knees are fairly standard in robots – you’ve seen it with Boston Dynamics’ Atlas and Agility’s Digit (though the latter has an ostrich-like reverse bend). Leaning gives you better control over balance and other important factors. Ultimately there is the question of how important coloring is for more human-like gait, but obviously this first video of the Figure 01 robot walking is very early stage. There are a lot of kinks to work out between now and the ship date.

The second thing I would draw your attention to is the hands. Mobile manipulation remains a major problem in this world, and several humanoid systems, such as Digit and Aptronic’s Apollo, have yet to add articulated graspers. Of course, there is nothing in this video to suggest that the grippers are currently working. However, on my tour of the company’s headquarters, they showed me a section of the office devoted to the development of a five-digit, human-style hand.

The video states that the total number of figures at the time of shooting (10/1) was 60. Impressive growth for one year. More updates soon, no doubt.


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