When Fourier Intelligence unveiled its lanky, jet-black humanoid robot GR-1 at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai in July, it instantly stole the show.
While the global technology community has been fixated on artificial intelligence (AI) software since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November, the Chinese-made GR-1 – said to be capable of walking on two legs at a speed of 5km an hour while carrying a 50kg load – reminded people of the potential of bipedal robots, which are being pursued by global companies from Tesla to Xiaomi.
For Fourier, a Shanghai-based start-up, GR-1 was an unlikely triumph.
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“It is an unprecedented attempt by us – we barely had any reference when it came to the technology,” Alex Gu, founder and chief executive of Fourier, said in a recent interview with the South China Morning Post in the Chinese financial capital.
Fourier’s focus has not always been on humanoid robots. Named after the 19th-century French mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier, the company was originally set up in 2015 in Shanghai’s tech hub Zhangjiang with the aim of developing rehabilitation robotics.
The firm’s current products include a smart exercise bike, a wireless robotic glove and a series of computer-guided contraptions that help users restore movement in their arms and legs.
But just like many of his peers, 42-year-old Gu, a mechanical engineering graduate from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, had long dreamed about creating his own humanoid robot…Source – Read More!