Nvidia Reveals Project GR00T: AI Technology Enabling Human-Like Robots

Nvidia Reveals Project GR00T: AI Technology Enabling Human-Like Robots

Nvidia (NVDA) is diving deeper into the robotics game with the debut of a new foundation model for humanoid robots dubbed Project GR00T.

A foundation model is a type of AI system trained on massive amounts of data that’s capable of being used for a wide variety of tasks from generating sentences to videos, images, and more.

According to Nvidia, Project GR00T will help humanoid robots “understand natural language and emulate movements by observing human actions — quickly learning coordination, dexterity, and other skills in order to navigate, adapt, and interact with the real world.”

Nvidia also announced its Isaac Manipulator and Isaac Perceptor, part of the company’s Isaac robotics platform. Isaac Manipulator is a series of foundation models designed for robotic arms, while Issac Perceptor is meant to offer “multi-camera, 3D surround-vision capabilities” for robots designed to take on manufacturing and fulfillment roles.

In addition to those, the graphics giant also debuted its Jetson Thor computer for humanoid robots. The platform, which is powered by Nvidia’s Thor system-on-a-chip, will serve as the brains of humanoid robots.

Nvidia Reveals Project GR00T: AI Technology Enabling Human-Like Robots

AI engineer Jenna Reher works on humanoid robot Figure 01 at Figure AI’s test facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., Oct. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

“Jetson Thor was created as a new computing platform capable of performing complex tasks and interacting safely and naturally with people and machines. It has a modular architecture optimized for performance, power, and size,” Nvidia said in a statement.

The company says it’s already working with some of the biggest names in robotics including Boston Dynamics, famous for its Spot robot, 1X Technologies, Agility Robotics, Apptronik, and Figure AI.

Figure AI, in particular, has been making waves of late, releasing a video last week in which it showed a humanoid robot speak as though it was a person in response to prompts and complete a series of tasks, including picking up dishes and putting them in a drying rack.

While that may seem relatively mundane, the technology needed to get the robot to recognize each item and move them precisely is incredibly sophisticated.

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In February, Nvidia, as well as Microsoft, OpenAI, Jeff Bezos, Parkway Capital, Intel Capital, and others, took part in a Series B funding round for Figure AI valuing the company at $2.6 billion.

Humanoid robots offer the promise of being able to complete dangerous or rote tasks for people, though as with other AI technologies, they also raise the specter of displacing human jobs. Still, don’t expect humanoid robots to start strolling down the street anytime soon.

Daniel Howley is the tech editor at Yahoo Finance. He’s been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielHowley.

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