This robot will be a household must-have that will be doing chores for millions of Americans by the end of the decade, an expert claims.
Geordie Rose, founder of Vancouver-based Sanctuary AI, has created a human-sized bot called Phoenix who has already worked in two retail stores, bagging merchandise and cleaning, he told DailyMail.com.
And he believes that within 10 years Phoenix or his predecessor will be capable of doing any jobs or chores a human can.
The Phoenix android is already capable of doing chores such as cleaning and tidying and even filling the fridge – and is able to ‘learn’ new skills just like a human.
Geordie Rose with the Phoenix robot (SanctuaryAI)
The robot’s flexible hands enable it to perform human tasks – and it has a sense of ‘touch’
Rose said: ‘General-purpose robots must be able to sense, understand, and act on the world the same way we do.
‘This requires the creation of a type of artificial general intelligence (AGI) — specifically human-like general intelligence.’
Rose believes that it’s realistic that this could happen within a decade.
He said that the best way to create a human-like artificial intelligence is to build humanoid robots, pointing out that at current speeds of innovation, ten years is an ‘eternity’ for AI.
He said: ‘Every month, there are new developments in the AI world that can fundamentally change and advance the space.
‘At Sanctuary AI, we believe that the best way to build the world’s first AGI is to build software systems for controlling sophisticated humanoid robots with similar senses (vision, hearing, proprioception and touch), actions (movement, speech), and goals (completing work tasks) as people.’
The electrically powered robot stands five foot seven inches tall and weighs 155lb. He has a maximum speed of three miles per hour and can carry payloads up to 55lb.
The company won’t sell Phoenix robots, but will instead rent them out to do the jobs of human workers.
Goldman Sachs predicted that the market for humanoid robots could be worth $150 billion a year worldwide within 15 years – and that humanoid robots will be viable in factories between 2025-2028 and in other jobs by 2030-2035.
Elon Musk’s Tesla is building a rival robot called Optimus which aims to take on any task a human can do – and which Musk has said could be ‘more significant’ than the company’s cars.
Rose believes that humanoid robots will be a defining technology for the 21st century.
He said: ‘These are much bigger than vacuum cleaners or washing machines. A vacuum is incredibly valuable, as is a washing machine. But those are special-purpose technologies. What we’re building is entirely different.’
Key to the Phoenix robot’s success is the AI’s hands – as well as the Carbon AI software which the robot uses to ‘think’.
This allows the robot to ‘learn’ different skills: Phoenix is trained to do tasks by a human operator ‘driving’ it in virtual reality, but then learns to do tasks independently.
Rose said that more than 98 percent of jobs require human hands – and said that Phoenix can already load items into a bag, clean mirrors, sort objects and stock fridges.
The Phoenix robot was unveiled earlier this year
Elon Musk showing off his rival Tesla Optimus robot last year
He said that haptic (vibration) sensors in the robot’s hands give the machine a sense of touch, and mean that its hands are ‘as close as possible’ to human hands in their ability to manipulate objects.
Phoenix has the ‘ability to think and then act and complete work tasks just like a person,’ Rose said.
He said, ‘While we’re immensely proud of our physical robot, the real star of the show is the underlying software.’
Sanctuary AI is based in Vancouver, Canada, and has raised $100 million to investigate creating ‘human-like intelligence’.
The company believes that one day such robots could be as ‘ubiquitous as cars’.
In tests in a Mark’s retail store in Langley British Columbia, the robot was able to complete 100 different tasks, 40 percent of all tasks that human employees could – including packing merchandise, cleaning, labelling and folding, and another robot completed similar tasks in a Sport Chek store.
Rose said, ‘Moving forward, the goal is that our general-purpose robots will be capable of doing any work that people can do.
‘Our focus, at the moment, is creating robots for businesses to address the labor shortages they are facing. The world is dealing with declining birth rates and an aging population resulting in a massive labor shortage. In the U.S. alone, there are currently 9.9 million unfilled jobs, but only 5.8 million unemployed workers.
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