Sanctuary AI launches world’s first humanoid general-purpose robot in shops

On a mission to create the world’s-first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots, Sanctuary AI announced the news this month.

The company has successfully completed the first ever deployment of a unique system designed to deliver the world’s first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots at a customer commercial facility through its partnership with Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC).

The first deployment of its kind in a commercial environment took place at a Mark’s retail store in Langley, BC, Canada. The week-long pilot at the CTC-owned store successfully tested the general-purpose robot in a ‘real-life’ store environment with 110 retail-related tasks completed correctly, including front and back-of-store activities such as picking and packing merchandise, cleaning, tagging, labelling, folding, and more.

Tested tasks had previously only been performed in Sanctuary AI’s labs, which accurately mirrored the commercial setting to ensure a seamless technology implementation.

“Many organisations are facing labour challenges. Our population is ageing, birth rates are declining, and workers have more choice for what they do and where they work than ever in history,” said Geordie Rose, co-founder and CEO at Sanctuary AI. “Through our partnership with Canadian Tire Corporation, we worked on analysing how their work was done and what work people like and don’t like doing, in both their retail and distribution centre environments. In January we deployed a general-purpose robot to a retail store to attempt to perform many necessary but rudimentary tasks that people note finding unsatisfying or unfavourable. The results were spectacular. We are ecstatic to have accomplished this with Canadian Tire Corporation, one of Canada’s leading companies.”

Sanctuary AI is at the forefront of a digital transformation that will help its customers operate more safely, efficiently, and sustainably. At the same time, the company is building an ecosystem of external relationships that will usher in this new paradigm and solidify Sanctuary AI as the leader and pioneer of human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots.

A human-like AI controlling Sanctuary AI general-purpose robot should be able to perform physical labour across virtually every industry. The company has created a strong ecosystem in a brand new category that, according to Goldman Sachs, has the potential to be a market of up to US$154 billion by 2035.

Sanctuary AI is backed by a number of investors that add even greater strength to their ecosystem. The investor list includes the likes of Bell, Canadian Tire Corporation, Evok Innovations, Export Development Canada, Magna, SE Health, Verizon Ventures, and Workday Ventures.

The company has now received more than C$100 million in funding since its founding in Vancouver, Canada in 2018, and is active in its next funding round to fuel its mission.

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