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This startup challenges Tesla, its humanoid robot already works at BMW (video)

© Figure

While working on new electric vehicle models, Tesla also continues to develop its Optimus humanoid robot. As the manufacturer's website explains, this is a product designed to perform dangerous, repetitive or boring tasks. At the end of 2023, Tesla presented a new version of its prototype, which is already being tested in a factory of the manufacturer, at the time of writing this article. This project is very important for Elon Musk, because he believes that the market for this type of robot will be enormous within a few years.

In any case, Tesla is not the only company working on a humanoid. And among its competitors, there is the startup Figure. You've never heard of it ? However, it is a very promising company in the field of robotics. In February, thanks to raising $675 million from investors like Jeff Bezos, Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI, Figure reached a valuation of $2.6 billion. Figure is also collaborating with OpenAI to develop next-generation AI models for humanoid robots, combining OpenAI's research with Figure's deep understanding of hardware and robotic software.”

In January, Figure also announced a commercial agreement with the BMW brand. Indeed, the startup targets customers in the industrial sector. And with BMW, it agreed, firstly, to identify the potential uses of its robots in automobile production, before deploying them in the German manufacturer's factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina. And it seems that the two companies have entered this second phase, since in a publication on X, Figure published a video of its robot performing tasks autonomously in the BMW factory.

A market that will be worth several billion dollars

Currently, the robots used in the’ industry are designed to perform very specific tasks. But humanoids like Tesla's Optimus robot, or Figure's robot, are of another type, since they can learn several tasks. Recently, Elon Musk even indicated that Optimus could serve as a domestic robot, or more or less take care of users' children.

For its part, Figure explained in January that while the market for single-use robots is saturating the market, general-purpose robots are still little exploited. “Figure’s robots will enable businesses to increase productivity, reduce costs and create a safer, more consistent environment,” said its CEO, Brett Adcock.

According to analysts from Goldman Sachs, cited in a CNBC article, the market for humanoid robots could be worth $38 billion by 2035. And in 2030, more than 250,000 units could be shipped. It is therefore normal that Elon Musk is banking heavily on the Optimus robot to ensure Tesla's long-term growth, and that companies like Figure are attracting significant investors.

  • Today, Elon Musk is banking on the Optimus humanoid robot to ensure Tesla's long-term growth, and this robot is already being tested in Tesla factories
  • One of its competitors in this field, Figure, is collaborating with BMW to explore the potential uses of its robots in automobile production
  • And recently, Figure published a video of its robot working in a BMW factory in the United States
  • It is estimated that the market for humanoid robots could be worth $38 billion in 2035

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116