Since being founded in 2018, Sanctuary AI climbed the field of robotics until its flagship humanoid Phoenix was recognized as one of 2023’s greatest inventions.
But the Vancouver-based tech pioneer is not stopping there.
Toward its mission of creating human-like intelligence in general purpose robotics, Sanctuary AI announced this week that the BC-born firm has acquired key intellectual property assets.
These salient IP assets relate to touch and grasping, “which are vital to building truly general purpose robots,” according to a statement from the company.
“Replicating human-like touch is potentially more important than vision when it comes to grasping and manipulation in unstructured environments,” asserts Jeremy Fishel, who is a cofounder of robot haptics firm Tangible Research, which Sanctuary AI acquired for its niche work on robotic dexterity.
“It has been an effort many years in the making,” Fishel went on, “to meet the complex blend of performance, features, and durability to achieve general purpose dexterity.”
Coordination between touch sensors and vision systems is “critical to enabling embodied AGI,” according to Sanctuary AI, which holds patents on several technologies in this space, originating from a combination of internal filings and external acquisitions.
“In dynamic and unstructured environments, coordination between touch and vision is an absolute necessity,” says Geordie Rose, cofounder and chief executive of Sanctuary AI, adding that his company spent over a year performing industry-wide analysis before acquiring Fishel’s team. “Beyond the functional sensitivity, the technology is designed to be simulatable, enabling us to fast track our AI model development.”
The field of AI is advancing as humanoid robots become more capable at performing tasks, says Rose. Sanctuary AI anticipates that next wave of AI will be “grounding” AI in the physical world.
Staying ahead of this curve, the Canadian company believes its growing patent portfolio protects key grasping technologies for both non-humanoid and humanoid robots.