Figure Robot Deployment Set for BMW's South Carolina Plant

Figure Robot Deployment Set for BMW’s South Carolina Plant

Figure Robot has revealed a ground-breaking “commercial agreement” with BMW, launching Figure 01—the company’s first humanoid robot—at the BMW factory in South Carolina.

Deployment and Initial Tasks

As part of the collaboration, Figure 01 will be installed in the Spartanburg facility, where BMW assembles about 1,500 cars every day. Although the precise count remains undisclosed, the rollout will begin with a limited number of units. Figure 01 will start off with five tasks and roll them out gradually, concentrating on typical manufacturing tasks like pallet handling, pick and place, and box moving.

Applications and Development Strategy

Figure CEO Brett Adcock predicts the robot’s skill set will evolve, similar to Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot. Early partners like BMW will impact initial applications, focusing on sheet metal manipulation. Other clients will be revealed in the coming year.

Design Emphasis on Dexterity and Human-like Hands

In contrast to other designers of humanoid robots, Figure prioritizes the creation of a manipulable hand that is skillful and human-like. High level of skill is needed for the first set of tasks given to Figure 01, with an emphasis on tasks like manipulating sheet metal.

Training and Learning on the Job

To overcome possible obstacles, Figure 01’s training strategy combines simulation, teleoperation, and reinforcement learning. In real-world testing, Figure 01 is supposed to learn and improve its methodology, mimicking how humans learn.

Robotics as a Service (RaaS) Model

The humanoid robots will be leased rather than purchased outright, according to Figure, which uses a Robotics as a Service (RaaS) business model. Refinement according to performance and the model’s capacity to fulfill BMW’s internal output standards is possible.

Potential Impact on BMW’s Manufacturing Processes

Over the course of the next 12 to 24 months, Figure 01 will be integrated into all of BMW’s manufacturing processes, including the body shop, sheet metal, and warehouse. The ability of these robotic systems to meet BMW’s production expectations will determine their success and long-term adoption.


I think the combination of robotics and automotive manufacturing is a sign of both a possible future for human-robot cooperation as well as a useful development. It makes us think about how these technologies might change traditional work environments, with Figure’s humanoid robot being tested for practicality and efficiency at the Spartanburg facility.

Follow our Twitter Account for Daily Insights on AI

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *