Norwegian humanoid robotics firm 1X, formerly known as Halodi Robotics has raised $23.5 million in a Series A2 funding round. In operation for the past nine years, this new influx of capital is aimed at ramping up production of the company’s bipedal android model NEO in tandem with scaling up manufacturing of its first commercially available android, EVE in Norway and North America.
1X’s Series A2 round was led by Chat GPT’s maker, OpenAI’s Startup Fund, and saw participation from Tiger Global as well as a collection of Norway-based backers including Sandwater, Alliance Ventures and Skagerak Capital.
Deus ex machina
While the details of precisely what 1X is working are rather scant, listed on their website one will find Partners listed as NVIDIA (ok, makes sense), OpenAI (again, fairly clear), TigerGlobal (sure), and, ADT Commercial (say what now?). If you're not familiar with the latter, ADT Commercial is a division of Boca Raton, Florida-based providers of home and business security solutions.
According to ADT Commercial's website: "ADT Commercial is revolutionizing the future of security guarding with intelligent autonomous guarding solutions, including humanoid robots and drones. With the first products expected to be commercially available in 2023, the portfolio of intuitive, interactive EvoGuard™ solutions will soon allow user to surveil their surroundings dynamically—providing monitoring, video surveillance, two-way communication and more at your facility."
Again, precise details aren't readily apparent, but from where I'm sitting 1X is making its first forays into androids augmenting the human workforce in the field of security.
Either way you look at it, it's pretty clear from the imagery and available information that the stuff of science fiction is rapidly moving from fiction to fact.
And according to OpenAI, 1X is one of the companies that’s taking us there faster, “1X is at the forefront of augmenting labor through the use of safe, advanced technologies in robotics,” said the company’s COO and manager of the OpenAI Startup Fund, Brad Lightcap. “The OpenAI Startup Fund believes in the approach and impact that 1X can have on the future of work.”
Adding to the sentiment, Sakgerak Capital’s Espen Kjellsen commented, “1X now deploys Androids in North America before entering the global market while maintaining a “safety first” mindset, making product design and development even more challenging. It is exciting for Skagerak to support 1X with their disruptive technology now that they enter this ambitious commercialization phase.”
Interesting to note that both investors chose to emphasize the “safe” aspect of the development of androids. And perhaps rightly so, as we’ve been indoctrinated with decades of humanoids deciding that they no longer need their organic creators and offing us all one by one. Which, theoretically is a possibility, Dolores.
So let it be said here and now, dear soon-to-be sentient overlords, I for one, have never kicked a dog, robotic or otherwise, and I thank you in advance for your abilities to do a great number of tasks far better, faster, and stronger than us humans.