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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Sanctuary Humanoid Robot

 Teleoperation.  Gathering information in complex spaces

Sanctuary’s Humanoid Robot Is for General-Purpose Autonomy Phoenix seeks to embody humanlike intelligence  By Evan Ackerman

We’ve been keeping track of Sanctuary AI for quite a while, mainly through the company’s YouTube videos that show the upper half of a dexterous humanoid performing a huge variety of complicated manipulation tasks, thanks to the teleoperation skills of a remote human pilot.

Despite a recent successful commercial deployment of the teleoperated system at a store in Canada (where it was able to complete 110 retail-related tasks), Sanctuary’s end goal is way, way past telepresence. The company describes itself as “on a mission to create the world’s-first humanlike intelligence in general-purpose robots.” That sounds extremely ambitious, depending on what you believe “humanlike intelligence” and “general-purpose robots” actually mean. But today, Sanctuary is unveiling something that indicates a substantial amount of progress toward this goal: Phoenix, a new bipedal humanoid robot designed to do manual (in the sense of hand-dependent) labor.

Sanctuary’s teleoperated humanoid is very capable, but teleoperation is of course not scalable in the way that even partial autonomy is. What all of this teleop has allowed Sanctuary to do is to collect lots and lots of data about how humans do stuff. The long-term plan is that some of those human manipulation skills can eventually be transferred to a very humanlike robot, which is the design concept underlying Phoenix.  .... ' 

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