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OpenAI-backed 1X Raises $100 Million in Series B to Launch Two-Legged Robot Butler NEO for Home Use

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1X Technologies, a Norwegian artificial intelligence (AI) startup, previously known as Halodi Robotics, has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round led by EQT Ventures. The company, backed by OpenAI and Tiger Global in its previous funding round, plans to use the capital to launch its new android NEO, designed for everyday domestic tasks in consumers’ homes.

The funding round was led by EQT Ventures, with participation from secondary transactions by existing investors, including Sandwater, Samsung Next, Skagerak Capital, and the Nistad group. The new investment will contribute to scaling data collection, computing power for training AIs, and manufacturing processes for the NEO robots. The company aims to make the NEO robot “very affordable” compared to similar systems on the market.

1X, founded in 2014, initially introduced its first-generation android, EVE, designed for tasks in fields like logistics and security. The new NEO, weighing 30kg and equipped with two legs, aims to navigate and perform tasks in homes more effectively. The two-legged design enables the robot to access harder-to-reach places, making it suitable for domestic applications.

While NEO’s primary focus is on assisting with daily tasks at home, such as reaching over sofas or plugging items into wall sockets, 1X emphasizes the importance of manipulation skills over walking capabilities. The company aims to address global labor shortages and contribute to food security and climate resilience.

To teach the robots, 1X employs a methodology similar to training large language models (LLMs). The company collects expert demonstrations from human operators who wear VR headsets and guide the robot’s movements. The operator’s thought process is also conveyed during the tasks, enriching the training data.

1X has benefited from partnerships with organizations such as OpenAI and NVIDIA. The company views NVIDIA as a partner, providing tools for scaling its AI and deploying its technologies. The Series B funding, totaling over $125 million raised by 1X to date, will support mass production of the NEO android and further development of its AI models.

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