OpenAI Invests In Norway-Based Startup That Makes Humanoid Robots

OpenAI is already knocking on the doors of AGI with GPT-4, but it appears that it has its sights set much further.

OpenAI has invested in 1X Technologies, a Norway-based Humanoid robotics company. The Series A funding round was was $23 million, and was led by OpenAI’s Startup Fund. It also saw participation from Tiger Global and a consortium of Norway-based investors, including Sandwater, Alliance Ventures, and Skagerak Capital.

“1X is thrilled to have OpenAI lead this round because we’re aligned in our missions: thoughtfully integrating emerging technology into people’s daily lives. With the support of our investors, we will continue to make significant strides in the field of robotics and augment the global labor market,” says Bernt Øyvind Børnich, CEO and founder of 1X Technologies. 1X Technologies intends to use the funds to increase the efforts of building its upcoming bipedal android model — NEO, and scale manufacturing of its first commercially available android EVE in Norway and North America.

1X Technologies was founded in 2014, and aims to produce androids capable of human-like movements and behaviors. “1X’s mission is to create robots with practical, real-world applications to augment human labor globally,” the company says on its website. “Our newest android iteration NEO will explore how artificial intelligence can take form in a human-like body,” it adds.

1X can fit in neatly with OpenAI’s plans. OpenAI had experimented with building robots in its early days, but soon gave up that initiative. But it now has the most powerful AI system anywhere in GPT-4, which can explain concepts, solve problems, and even break captchas. If this intelligence is connected to android robots, it could unleash LLMs’ potential in the real world, and radically transform the world as we know it.