OpenAI-Backed 1X’s $100M Funding Paves Way for Home Robot Revolution

1X, a Norway-based AI startup focused on home roboticsthere is announced significant Series B funding of $100 million. This follows a landmark $23.5 million Series A funding expansion led by OpenAI in early 2023, demonstrating the company’s rapid growth and growing interest in home robotics solutions.

From science fiction to reality

1X’s journey began in 2014, originally known as Halodi Robotics. Their first android, EVE, had wheels instead of legs and weighed 80 kg. EVE is actively involved in logistics and security, addressing the global labor shortage. However, with the new android NEO, the 1X ventures into a more challenging area – the home environment.

NEO, the next generation android, is a lighter (30kg) and more advanced version of its predecessor, designed to tackle the unique challenges of the home environment. Unlike EVE, NEO has two legs, allowing it to access hard-to-reach places, an essential feature for homework. The robot’s design focuses on safety by incorporating a soft layer over the aluminum core and avoiding risks such as lifting heavy objects near people.

OpenAI and NVIDIA as catalysts for 1X growth

OpenAI, known for developing ChatGPT, and NVIDIA, a leader in high-performance graphics processors, contributed to the development of 1X. OpenAI’s participation began in the summer of 2022, before the launch of ChatGPT. This partnership provided 1X with critical validation and access to advanced AI technologies and networks. NVIDIA, on the other hand, contributed significantly with its softwareallowing 1X to scale its AI applications for NEO.

A combination of human experience and AI

1X’s approach to training NEO involves cloning human behavior and thought processes into the machine, similar to learning large language models (LLM). This process involves human operators using VR headsets to control the robot, thereby transferring human actions and thoughts into the robot system. The goal is to develop AI models with a rich understanding of the world, which is crucial for the diverse and unpredictable nature of the home environment.

The future of home robotics

The recent $100 million Series B funding, led by EQT Ventures and featuring significant contributions from other investors such as Samsung Next, is aimed at mass production of NEO. While the exact price of NEO has yet to be revealed, the CEO of 1X assures that it will be competitively priced compared to existing systems in the market.

1X’s vision extends beyond simply creating a home robot; it aims to solve complex AI challenges by leveraging the vast and diverse data available in home settings. With over 50 robots already working and collecting data, 1X is poised to make a significant impact in the world of home robotics, potentially changing the way we view and interact with robots in our daily lives.

Image source: Shutterstock

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