California-based company Figure has secured $70 million in Series A funding to develop further their versatile humanoid robots — specifically their Figure 01 model. The funding will also be used to expand their AI data pipeline for autonomous operations and drive the company towards commercialization.
Leading the funding round is Parkway Venture Capital, with contributions from investors including Brett Adcock, Aliya Capital, Bold Ventures, Tamarack Global, FJ Labs, and Till Reuter (the CEO of KUKA Robotics).
Figure 01 (yet to be unveiled) is expected to stand 5’6″ tall, weigh 132 lbs, and have a payload capacity of up to 44 lbs; the company’s initial plan is to deploy these humanoids into the workforce (just like Sanctuary AI) to tackle labor shortages and support global supply chain operations.
Figure: Founded in 2022 and emerging from “stealth mode”
According to TheRobotRepot, Figure has made strategic hires in AI, controls, manipulation, perception, and commercial operations: Bob Klunk (former the SVP of operations at Geodis) joined as the head of warehouse solutions, bringing his extensive warehouse experience.
Jesse Coors-Blankenship (Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Parkway Venture Capital) commends Figure’s rapid progress and emphasizes their focus on investing in AI technology pioneers — a partnership to support the commercialization of Figure 01.
Before Figure, Brett Adcock founded Vettery, an online talent marketplace acquired by the Adecco Group, and Archer Aviation, a publicly-traded company specializing in eVTOL aircraft. Figure, founded in 2022, recently emerged from stealth mode.
The company’s immediate objective is to deploy humanoids into the workforce, starting with tasks in warehouses that are structured, repetitive, and potentially hazardous. The funding will facilitate the testing of early warehouse solutions and enable agile iteration prior to full-scale commercial operations. Adcock expresses enthusiasm for the strategic partnership with Parkway and the other investors.
Dr. Jerry Pratt, Figure’s chief technology officer, brings over 20 years of humanoid robotics experience to the team. Previously a principal investigator at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), Pratt led a robotics team focused on walking and balance, earning second place in the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge with Team IHMC.
Figure and Agility Robotics Lead Humanoid Development, Boston Dynamics Focuses on Research
Figure is among the companies leading the development of humanoids for real-world applications. With their Digit humanoid targeting warehouse box-moving tasks, Agility Robotics is currently at the forefront. Other notable companies in this field include Apprtonik, Sanctuary AI, and Tesla — While Boston Dynamics’ Atlas remains the most advanced humanoid from a mobility standpoint, it is primarily a research and development project.