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Sanctuary’s Latest Humanoid Robot Promises Faster Learning and Lower Costs

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 29, 2024
Sanctuary's Latest Humanoid Robot Promises Faster Learning and Lower Costs

Sanctuary’s Latest Humanoid Robot Promises Faster Learning and Lower Costs

Sanctuary AI, a Canadian company less frequently discussed alongside prominent humanoid robotics firms like Boston Dynamics, Agility, Figure, and 1X, has recently unveiled the seventh generation of its Phoenix robot line.

This latest iteration is recognized not just for its enhancements but also for its cost-effectiveness and rapid learning capabilities. Sanctuary focuses on the robot’s upper body functionalities, particularly its human-like movements and swift task-learning abilities.

Focusing on Upper Body Capabilities

Sanctuary AI’s new Phoenix model represents a significant advancement in humanoid robotics, primarily focusing on the torso’s functionality. This shift is evident in the company’s latest promotional videos, which spotlight the robot’s adeptness at sorting products and learning new tasks remarkably quickly. This emphasis on upper body capabilities marks a departure from the broader industry trend that often prioritizes mechatronics and locomotion, as seen in Boston Dynamics’ recent demonstrations.

The introduction of legs in previous Phoenix models brought new dynamics to the robot’s capabilities. However, the current model underscores significant improvements in operational efficiency and learning speed. According to Sanctuary AI, the new Phoenix can automate tasks within 24 hours, demonstrating a notable leap in robotic learning efficiency.

Advanced Learning in New Phoenix Model

Geordie Rose, co-founder and CEO of Sanctuary AI, emphasized the robot’s human-like capabilities, stating, “With generation seven, we have a system that we believe is the most closely analogous to a person of any available. We see this as not only the cornerstone of general-purpose AI robotics but a critical step on the path to artificial general intelligence, and we’re thrilled to be leading the charge on it.”

While the robot’s ability to perform complex tasks varies, the showcased tasks in the demonstrations—like sorting objects by color—occur in controlled settings, highlighting the system’s adaptability to structured environments.

Sanctuary has also made strides beyond development, as evidenced by a new agreement to deploy these robots in Magna’s auto manufacturing facilities, enhancing their industrial application.

In terms of technical advancements, the seventh-generation Phoenix improves upon its predecessors by offering:

  • Increased uptime
  • An extended range of motion
  • Reduced weight
  • A more cost-efficient design

These enhancements are introduced just 12 months after the launch of its previous model, demonstrating Sanctuary’s rapid pace of innovation in the field of humanoid robotics.

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Featured Image courtesy of Sanctuary AI

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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