This robot will be essential in the home and will do housework for millions of Americans by the end of this decade, says an expert.
Geordie Rose, founder of Vancouver-based Sanctuary AI, has created a human-sized robot called Phoenix that has already worked in two retail stores, bagging merchandise and cleaning, he told DailyMail.com.
And he believes that within 10 years Phoenix or its predecessor will be able to perform any job or task that a human can perform.
The Phoenix android is already capable of performing tasks such as cleaning and tidying and even filling the refrigerator, and is capable of “learning” new skills like a human.
Geordie Rose with the Phoenix robot (SanctuaryAI)
The robot’s flexible hands allow 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 in the world in the same way we do.”
“This requires the creation of a type of artificial general intelligence (AGI), namely human-like general intelligence.”
Rose believes it is realistic that this could happen within a decade.
He said the best way to create human-like artificial intelligence is to build humanoid robots, noting that at the current pace of innovation, ten years is an “eternity” for AI.
He said: ‘Every month, there are new developments in the world of AI that can fundamentally change and advance the space.
‘At Sanctuary AI, we believe the best way to build the world’s first AGI is to create software systems to control sophisticated humanoid robots with similar senses (vision, hearing, proprioception and touch), actions (movement, speech) and goals (completion work tasks) as people.’
The electric robot is five feet, seven inches tall and weighs 155 pounds. It has a top speed of three miles per hour and can carry payloads of up to 55 pounds.
The company will not sell Phoenix robots, but will rent them to do the work of human workers.
Goldman Sachs predicted that the humanoid robot market could be worth $150 billion a year worldwide within 15 years, and that humanoid robots will be viable in factories between 2025 and 2028 and in other jobs between 2030 and 2035.
Elon Musk’s Tesla is building a rival robot called Optimus that aims to take on any task a human can perform and which Musk says could be “more important” than the company’s cars.
Rose believes that humanoid robots will be the defining technology of the 21st century.
He said: ‘They are much bigger than vacuum cleaners or washing machines. A vacuum cleaner is incredibly valuable, as is a washing machine. But those are special purpose technologies. “What we are building is completely different.”
The key to the Phoenix robot’s success is the AI hands, as well as the Carbon AI software that the robot uses to “think.”
This allows the robot to “learn” different skills: Phoenix is trained to perform tasks by a human operator who “drives” it in virtual reality, but then learns to perform tasks independently.
Rose said more than 98 percent of jobs require human hands and said Phoenix can already carry items in a bag, clean mirrors, sort objects and stock refrigerators.
The Phoenix robot was introduced earlier this year.
Elon Musk showed off his rival Tesla Optimus robot last year
He said haptic (vibration) sensors in the robot’s hands give the machine a sense of touch, and mean 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 like a person,” Rose said.
He said: “While we are 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 research creating “human-like intelligence.”
The company believes that one day these robots could be as “ubiquitous as cars.”
In tests conducted at a Mark’s retail store in Langley, British Columbia, the robot was able to complete 100 different tasks, 40 percent of all the tasks that human employees could perform, including packing merchandise, cleaning, labeling and folding, and other robot completed similar tasks in a SportChek store.
Rose said: ‘In the future, the aim is for our general-purpose robots to be able to do any job that people can do.
‘Our goal, at the moment, is to create robots for companies to address the labor shortages they face. The world is facing declining birth rates and an aging population, causing massive labor shortages. In the United States alone there are currently 9.9 million unfilled jobs, but only 5.8 million unemployed workers.