Fresh juice


Sanctuary AI and Magna forge alliance to deploy humanoid robots in automotive manufacturing

In a groundbreaking move poised to reshape the future of manufacturing, Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corp., or Sanctuary AI, has entered into a strategic partnership with automotive components giant Magna International Inc. This expanded collaboration aims to equip Magna's manufacturing facilities with Sanctuary's cutting-edge, general-purpose AI robots, ushering in a new era of intelligent automation.



The Vancouver-based robotics company, renowned for its trailblazing work in developing human-like AI systems, plans to engage Magna in the future manufacturing of its flagship Sanctuary Phoenix humanoid robots under a contractual agreement. This strategic move follows Magna's investment in Sanctuary AI since 2021 and its recent acquisition of autonomous vehicle startup Optimus Ride in 2022, solidifying the automotive supplier's commitment to embracing disruptive technologies.

"We founded Sanctuary AI with the goal to become the first organization in the world to create human-like AI," stated Geordie Rose, co-founder and CEO of Sanctuary AI. "World-changing goals like these require world-changing partners."

The Sanctuary Phoenix, unveiled in May 2023, is a revolutionary humanoid robot designed with human-like dexterous hands and arms. Since its launch, Sanctuary AI has invested heavily in developing advanced manipulation capabilities, perception features, and cutting-edge artificial intelligence models that control the robot's movements and decision-making processes.

In December 2023, Sanctuary secured patents for numerous groundbreaking technologies developed both in-house and through strategic acquisitions from external sources, including Giant.AI Inc. and Tangible Research.

"Magna's position as a world leader in the use of robots today makes this partnership an essential advancement for our mission," Rose added. "We're privileged to be working with Magna, and believe they will be a key element in the successful global deployment of our machines."

The partnership's intent is threefold, according to Rose. First, Magna will serve as an investor, providing valuable financial backing to Sanctuary AI's ambitious endeavors. Secondly, Magna will participate in the manufacturing of the Sanctuary Phoenix robots, leveraging its extensive production expertise to scale up the deployment of these advanced systems. Finally, Magna will become a customer, integrating the humanoid robots into its own manufacturing processes to drive operational excellence and efficiency.

"The workflow opportunities for an agile humanoid at Magna are endless," Rose noted. "The key to getting a good fit in the short term is understanding how to overlap that type of analysis with the type of capability that you can deliver."

Magna, too, expressed its excitement about the partnership's potential to revolutionize manufacturing through intelligent mobile manipulation. "Magna is excited to partner with Sanctuary AI in our shared mission to advance the future of manufacturing," said Todd Deaville, vice president of advanced manufacturing innovation at Magna. "By integrating general-purpose AI robots into our manufacturing facilities for specific tasks, we can enhance our capabilities to deliver high-quality products to our customers."

As Sanctuary AI embarks on the commercialization of the Phoenix, it plans to leverage Magna's manufacturing prowess to produce the robots at high volumes. Rose emphasized the importance of finding the right production partner, noting that many robotics startups often fail when attempting to manufacture their systems in-house.

At the core of Sanctuary AI's approach is the concept of embodied AI, which the company is dedicating its intellectual resources to engineer and train the smartest models for its robots. Rose expressed amazement at the rapid evolution of embodied AI over the past decade, citing the real race as finding ways to gather the immense amounts of data needed and putting the robots into the necessary training situations for the AI models to learn and grow in confidence.

This is where the enhanced relationship with Magna comes into play. The product roadmap for Sanctuary AI over the next year is to deploy all production runs of the Phoenix robots into real-world manufacturing environments at Magna facilities. This immersive approach will enable the robots to learn by executing tasks daily and gathering valuable training data.

"In the run that we're about to begin with Magna, we'll be able to collect data in a commercial environment of the sort that will train a production robot," Rose explained. "So the progression of this, from our perspective, is the ability to collect training data to generate autonomous behaviors."

By 2025, Sanctuary AI plans to iterate on a version of the robot for broader use and sale, incorporating a human-in-the-loop approach to help robots resolve edge cases while minimizing any impact on day-to-day operations.

The current state of development, according to Rose, is promising. "We can go from data collection to a trained policy in less than 24 hours now, where the train policy does as well or better than the people who are doing the task for simple tasks," he said. "These new transformer-based models are spectacularly good at moving robots, way better than I thought they would be."

As the world eagerly awaits the next chapter in the humanoid revolution, the partnership between Sanctuary AI and Magna International stands as a testament to the immense potential of human-like AI and its transformative impact on manufacturing. By combining Sanctuary's cutting-edge robotics technology with Magna's manufacturing expertise, this pioneering alliance is poised to redefine the boundaries of intelligent automation, driving efficiency, quality, and innovation to unprecedented heights.

Share with friends:

Write and read comments can only authorized users