OpenAI Revives Robotics Projects Following 2021 Shutdown

The San Francisco-based robotics team will work with external partners on multimodal models

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

June 5, 2024

2 Min Read
A robotic hand holding a cube with letters on it

OpenAI is reviving its robotics team after shutting down its robotics team in 2021.

Newly surfaced job listings show OpenAI is looking for research engineers to join a robotics team to train multimodal large language models to “unlock new capabilities for our partners' robots.”

OpenAI disbanded its robotics research team in 2020, shifting focus to early-stage generative AI following the release of GPT-3.

In its earlier robotics efforts, OpenAI developed Dactyl, a system for training robotic hands to manipulate physical objects, capable of solving a Rubik's Cube.

OpenAI also previously worked on methods for teaching robots to perform tasks through observation. Its one-shot imitation learning algorithm allowed human operators to instruct a unit to perform a task in simulated environments before real-world deployments.

OpenAI has not publicly disclosed the reboot of its robotics team, but the job listing states candidates would be “one of the first members of the team.”

The company said its robotics team “collaborates with partners across the robotics industry and is focused on building a suite of models to enable frontier robotics applications.”

The robotics team will be based in San Francisco with OpenAI offering relocation assistance to new employees.

Related:AI Startup Roundup: The Startup that Blew Away OpenAI

The Microsoft-backed company wants robotics engineers to debug end-to-end machine learning issues.

OpenAI also wants engineers to develop machine learning architectures related to robotics that apply to its “core models.”

“We’re looking for people who have a strong research background, in addition to experience shipping AI applications,” the listing reads.

The company’s startup fund has invested in robotics startups including Sunnyvale, California-based Figure AI and Norwegian firm 1X.

OpenAI’s foundation models have been used to power capabilities in bots from both startups. 1X, for example, uses a modified version of ChatGPT in its Eve robots to process and respond to commands.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

Keep up with the ever-evolving AI landscape
Unlock exclusive AI content by subscribing to our newsletter!!

You May Also Like