Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sanctuary unveils 7th generation of its general-purpose robot Phoenix

Sanctuary AI has made an astonishing breakthrough with the latest release of its seventh-generation general-purpose robot, Phoenix. This robot and its AI control system, Carbon, have made substantial improvements to both the hardware and software, bringing them even closer to human intelligence than ever before.

Sanctuary has been developing a general-purpose humanoid robot for a few years now. They have focused on training the upper torso to perform various tasks such as labeling boxes, bagging groceries, moving packages, scanning products, and soldering. However, most of the “Robots Doing Stuff” series of videos are actually showing the bots being teleoperated, which is how they’re taught to perform tasks.

Sanctuary has also introduced a bipedal version called Phoenix, and its AI control system called Carbon is designed to give the humanoid “human-like intelligence and enable it to do a wide range of work tasks.”

The announcement of the launch of seventh generation comes less than 12 months after Sanctuary AI’s sixth generation robot was launched, and less than 16 months after its fifth generation robot was first commercially deployed in January 2023.

Not many details about the robot are unveiled now, but the video below seems to suggest that there will be some significant advancements, such as better visual perception and tactile sensing, as well as more uptime for training and data capture.

These improvements translate into real-world applications and how they can help us perform more complex tasks. The wider range of motion in the wrists, hands, and elbows also sounds promising for potential users. 

The development team’s achievement in reducing the time it takes for Phoenix to learn new tasks and perform them autonomously is a significant milestone in task automation speed and autonomous system capability. The cost of building materials has been reduced, which should positively impact manufacturing costs. Additionally, the smaller hydraulics systems will lead to lower weight and power consumption. The company also says that the increased build and commissioning speed allows them to bring more units online faster.

“With Generation 7, 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. This all adds up to being able to capture increasing quantities of higher quality, higher fidelity human behavioral data, which in turn will expedite the development of foundational AI models and customer deployments,” said Geordie Rose, CEO and Co-Founder of Sanctuary AI.

Humanoid robots like those from Figure and Apptronik are already being utilized in industries such as automotive production. Sanctuary’s bot will be joining the workforce through a partnership with Magna.