Chinese startup demonstrates robot that could do your chores

A sleek new video shows a humanoid robot called Astribot S1 uncorking a bottle of wine, flipping toast in a pan, and then ironing – and folding – a t-shirt.

It’s also shown vacuuming some pieces of paper from the table, spraying mist on a houseplant, and plugging a lamp into an electric socket before turning the light on. In addition, it describes what it “sees” and can sort things into the right boxes.

Other chores you could reasonably expect this future household robot to do include pulling a tablecloth from under the pyramid of glasses without shattering them, speed-stacking some cups to confuse your guests, and peeling a cucumber.

Stardust Intelligence, the Shenzhen-based startup behind Astribot S1, says that it’s committed to bringing such robot assistants to “billions” of people, with plans to commercialize the robot as soon as this year.

It claims no teleoperation – or no remote control – was used in a video showcasing the robot’s capabilities and says that it’s carrying out the tasks powered by AI.

Founded in 2022 by Lai Jie, a former employee at China’s technology giant Tencent, Stardust Intelligence also includes team members with backgrounds in Baidu and Huawei, two other Chinese conglomerates, Google, and UBtech, another Shenzhen-based robotics company.

According to the firm’s website, it took it a year to develop Astribot S1, an impressively short amount of time when compared to companies like Boston Dynamics, which earlier unveiled its electric Atlas robot after more than a decade of experiments.

However, Figure, a rising American star of humanoid robotics backed by the likes of OpenAI and Nvidia, claimed an even shorter turnaround of just six months when the company announced it was emerging from a “stealth mode” in 2023.

Of course, it is worth bearing in mind that these types of videos are marketing material and should be taken with a pinch of salt. As Boston Dynamics recently demonstrated in its Atlas bloopers video, they’re meant to showcase what worked and omit what didn’t.

To say nothing of Tesla’s Optimus bot, whose first iteration in 2021 was a man in a suit but which was shown earlier this year folding shirts – a sort of a benchmark of robot capabilities given the complexity of the task for the machines.

Stardust Intelligence seeks to demonstrate that Astribot S1 is not only on par with its global rivals but is capable of “human-like” performance. According to the company, it uses imitation learning to perform tasks “with the speed and flexibility of an adult” and “think and work” like humans.

“These robots can use human tools and equipment, complete tedious, difficult, or dangerous tasks, and even adapt to environmental changes,” it says.

More from Cybernews:

I installed 100 apps and left my iPhone idle: it reached out to Russia

OpenAI, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Nvidia CEOs will collaborate on AI safety efforts

Roku hops on the “video ad on the home screen” trend

Philadelphia Inquirer struck by cyberattack

Tesla brutally fires dedicated employee who slept in his car and showered at work

Subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are markedmarked