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Sanctuary AI Deploys its First Humanoid General-Purpose Robot

Sanctuary AI general-purpose humanoid robot

Vancouver-based Sanctuary Cognitive Systems, which aims to develop human-like intelligence through general-purpose robots, has announced it successfully completed a deployment of a unique system at a customer commercial facility through a partnership with Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC).

The deployment of its general-purpose humanoid robot took place at a Mark’s retail store in Langley, British Columbia. The week-long pilot at the CTC-owned store successfully tested the robot in a “real life” store environment with 110 retail-related tasks completed correctly, the company said. This included front and back-of-store activities such as picking and packing merchandise, cleaning, tagging, labeling, folding and other tasks. Sanctuary AI said the tested tasks had previously only been performed in its labs, which accurately mirrored the commercial setting to ensure a seamless technology implementation.

“Many organizations are facing labor challenges,” said Geordie Rose, co-founder and CEO of Sanctuary AI. “Our population is aging, birth rates are declining, and workers have more choice for what they do and where they work than ever in history. Through our partnership with Canadian Tire Corporation, we worked on analyzing how their work was done and what work people like and don’t like doing, in both their retail and distribution center 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 unfavorable. The results were spectacular.”

The company said it plans to build an ecosystem of external relationships to usher in a new paradigm and solidify it as a leader in the field of general-purpose robots. It predicted that a human-like AI controlling Sanctuary AI general-purpose robots should be able to perform physical labor across virtually every industry.

“Working with Sanctuary AI has enabled Canadian Tire Corporation to further explore cutting-edge innovations and accelerate operational efficiency,” said Cari Covent, vice president of data, analytics and AI at CTC. “With the Mark’s pilot, we were able to focus human resources on higher-value and more meaningful work, like customer service and engagement. By making strategic investments and working with partners like Sanctuary AI, we are furthering our customer understanding, customer experience, and operational efficiencies to drive our Better Connected strategy.”

Sanctuary AI is backed by several investors, including CTC, Bell, Evok Innovations, Export Development Canada, Magna, SE Health, Verizon Ventures, and Workday Ventures. It has received more than $100 million (Canadian) in funding since its 2018 founding. 

More details on the company and its technology can be found at the Sanctuary AI website.

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