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BMW adopts general purpose humanoid robots
- February 12, 2024
- William Payne
California-based humanoid robot developer Figure is to supply general purpose robots to BMW for use in automotive manufacturing. Figure’s humanoid robots automate difficult, dangerous and tedious manufacturing tasks. Employees can focus on tasks that cannot be automated as well as on continuous improvement in production.
Under the agreement, BMW Manufacturing, a subsidiary of BMW AG, and Figure will follow a milestone-based approach. In the first phase, Figure will identify initial use cases to apply the Figure robots in automotive production. Once the first phase has been completed, the Figure robots will begin staged deployment at BMW’s manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Beyond the deployment of humanoid robots in an automotive manufacturing environment, BMW Manufacturing and Figure jointly will explore advanced technology topics such as artificial intelligence, robot control, manufacturing virtualization, and robot integration.
“Single-purpose robotics have saturated the commercial market for decades, but the potential of general purpose robotics is completely untapped. Figure’s robots will enable companies to increase productivity, reduce costs, and create a safer and more consistent environment,” said Brett Adcock, Founder and CEO of Figure. “We look forward to working side-by-side with BMW Manufacturing to integrate AI and robotics into automotive production.”
“The automotive industry, and with it the production of vehicles, is evolving rapidly. BMW Manufacturing is committed to integrating innovative technologies in our production systems to drive our future forward as an industry leader and innovator. The use of general purpose robot solutions has the potential to make productivity more efficient, to support the growing demands of our consumers, and to enable our team to focus on the transformation ahead of us,” said Dr. Robert Engelhorn, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing.