Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tech startup developing general-purpose robots with human-like intelligence

A Canadian tech startup Sanctuary Cognitive Systems wants to revolutionize the concept of the workforce and how things get done across multiple industries. The company is working to create the world’s first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots to address labor shortages around the world.

While many companies are developing special-purpose robots and AI to address singular tasks or activities, the Sanctuary team is trying to create a general-purpose robot with human-like intelligence. Sanctuary general-purpose robots are similar to a person in size and shape because the world is designed for people. The humanoid robot’s cognitive architecture is also designed to mimic the different subsystems in a person’s brain. According to the company, this approach defines the scope of the work to something that can be broken down into manageable and achievable pieces.

Sanctuary robots will improve the quality of the work experience, assist humans with difficult or dangerous tasks, bring new opportunities to those who might be less capable of physical work, and reduce the impact of labor shortages around the world. The goal is to make work safer and more efficient by developing robots that can carry out a multitude of tasks, working side by side with people.

The company says, in the not-so-distant future, its technology will help people explore, settle, and prosper in outer space. But before that, the robots will train alongside people here on Earth, helping them work more safely, efficiently, and sustainably.

Recently, Sanctuary successfully closed an oversubscribed C$75.5 million (US$58.5 million) Series A funding. It also announced that its Advisory Board will be joined by the first female private space explorer, Anousheh Ansari, and former astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield.

“With unfilled vacancies, workplace safety considerations, increasing employee turnover, worldwide aging populations, and declining workplace participation, one thing is clear: many labor-related challenges are outside the scope of current specialized AI and robotics technology,” said Geordie Rose, Co-Founder, and CEO of Sanctuary. “We are addressing a systemic problem across the global economy. I am excited about the group of industry partners and investors we assembled. With interest from customers representing a dozen different industry verticals, we are working hard to make work safer, more accessible, and ultimately more productive.”

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