Sanctuary AI reveals seventh-generation robot it calls “analogous to a person”

Sanctuary AI - Gen7
The latest robot includes improvements to automation speed, range of motion.

Vancouver-based robotics startup Sanctuary AI has revealed the seventh generation of its general-purpose robot, Phoenix.

The newest iteration of Phoenix comes less than a year after Sanctuary AI unveiled its sixth-generation robot, which was recently recognized by TIME as one of 2023’s best inventions. It also comes less than 16 months after its fifth-generation robot was first commercially deployed at one of Canadian Tire’s commercial facilities.

“With Generation 7, we have a system that we believe is the most closely analogous to a person of any available.”

The seventh-generation robot includes improved human-like range of motion, as well as improvements in uptime—meaning the time it can operate without issues, visual perception, and tactile sensing to increase the capability of the system to perform complex tasks over longer periods. It includes improvements to hardware such as reduced weight and power consumption.

Sanctuary AI claims Phoenix can now automate new tasks in less than 24 hours. In addition to improving the functions of its robot, Sanctuary AI says it has also increased the speed at which the startup can build and commission the robots, and lowered the cost of manufacturing each unit.

“It’s incredible to see the progress that has been made in just 11 months,” Geordie Rose, CEO and co-founder of Sanctuary AI, said in a statement. “With Generation 7, we have a system that we believe is the most closely analogous to a person of any available.”

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Founded in 2018, Sanctuary AI is focused on creating general-purpose, human-like robots that can perform work tasks effectively and safely in a variety of industries. Its robots use an artificial intelligence (AI)-based control system called Carbon, which it claims mimics subsystems found in the human brain, such as memory, sight, sound, and touch.

Adding to Phoenix’s first deployment with Canadian Tire, the startup announced earlier this month that its robot would be deployed in the automotive-manufacturing operations of Magna, which is a backer of Sanctuary AI. 

The team behind Sanctuary AI has close ties with the Canadian tech ecosystem. Rose is also one of the founders of Vancouver-based quantum startup D-Wave. Ajay Agrawal, co-founder and director at Sanctuary AI, is also the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab.

Sanctuary AI also has notable backers, including Bell, Export Development Canada, Verizon, and Workday Ventures. The startup closed $75.5 million CAD in Series A financing in 2022, following which it received a $30-million contribution from Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, bringing its total funding to over $100 million.

Feature image courtesy of Sanctuary AI.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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