The race to develop “humanoid robots” powered by artificial intelligence is accelerating, with firms such as Figure, Sanctuary and 1X, often backed by big tech sector names, raising hundreds of millions of dollars from investors.


Copyright: – “Meet The Swiss StartUp Taking On The Tech Giants In Robotics And AI”


SwissCognitive_Logo_RGBHowever, one seemingly unlikely competitor in this race is Mimic, a Swiss startup that is today announcing a $2.5 million fund-raise of its own.

Unlike its competitors, which are staffed by Google alumni or backed by investors including Open AI and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Mimic is flying below the radar. Launched earlier this year, the company was spun out of a research project at ETH Zurich university. Its founders, Elvis Nava, Stefan Weirich, Stephan-Daniel Gravert and Benedek Forrai all worked on the original research.

In practice, of course, businesses and consumers alike have been using robots and robotic devices for decades. But in almost every case, the device is programmed for a single task – to work on an assembly line in a factory, say, or to mow the lawn. By contrast, today’s race is to build a robot that users can teach to do multiple different jobs, just as humans can be trained to do many different roles.

“We’re operating at the intersection of artificial intelligence and robotics,” explains Mimic’s Elvis Nava. “Using generative AI, our robots will learn how to do what is expected of them.”

At the most high-profile companies, developers are building full-scale humanoid figures that can move around the workplace or the home to whereever work needs doing. But this requires highly-sophisticated engineering with expensive components and will carry a very high price tag. By contrast, Mimic thinks it can steal a march with a simpler product.

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“Most of the use cases for these robots are stationary and don’t require a full humanoid figure,” Nava explains. “We’ve therefore concentrated on something that mimics a human hand.”

The idea is deceptively simple. Mimic’s robotic hand will have a similar level of manual dexterity of a human hand and you’ll be able to tell it what job you want it to do. You’ll do that either by giving verbal instructions in natural language, or by demonstrating to a camera. Either way, the robot’s generative AI engine will understand what you’re asking of it and the robot will get on with the job.[…]

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