Domestic humanoid backed by OpenAI raises $100M


A humanoid just has taken a step towards consumer households after robot maker 1x raised a cool $100mn.

The Norwegian startup will spend the funds on bringing an android named Neo to the market. The bipedal is designed for everyday domestic tasks, from laundry to tidying.

“The once-distant dream of having a versatile, intelligent home assistant is now becoming a reality,” Bernt Øivind Børnich, CEO of 1X, told TNW.

Børnich co-founded 1X in 2014. He envisions the company producing commercial androids that benefit society and meet labour demand. To reach those combined goals, the robots are designed to work alongside people, free up our time, and improve global living standards.

The first droid tasked with this assignment was Eve, which was developed for enterprise applications. The two-wheeler rolled into work for the first time last year. Since joining the labour force, Eve has proven particularly adept at warehouse logistics and guarding.

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Neo has broader ambitions. The general-purpose bot is built to fit into our everyday lives as an intelligent assistant.

To ease that transition, 1X gave Neo various human attributes. It resembles us in form, height (165 cm), and range of motion. It’s also got dexterous hands, which can lift 75kgs in a deadlift or a squat. But what makes Neo truly unique among humanoids is that it’s not an industrial machine.

“It’s soft like us, light and inherently safe, with no pinch-points or other hazards, which is crucial for us to pursue our vision of deploying safe and useful robots to consumers,” Børnich said.

The humanoid NEO cleaning a cafe