Fourier Intelligence (傅利叶智能), a general-purpose robot company, has begun to accept pre-orders for its first-ever humanoid biped GR-1 starting yesterday, representing a crucial step toward achieving the goal of mass production.
In an official video posted on the Shanghai-based startup’s WeChat account, announced that the humanoid is now available via robots.fourierintelligence.com.
The contraption, which made its first public appearance during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in July, marked the company’s shift from a medtech business primarily involved in rehabilitation technologies to a general-purpose robot developer like Boston Dynamics and ANYbotics.
According to the video, GR-1 has 44 degrees of freedom in all, with three in the head, three in the waist, 12 in the hands, 14 in the arms and 12 in the legs.
The multiple joint motors, composed of Fourier’s proprietary all-in-one actuators placed at various parts of the robot’s body, enable the device to perform humanlike functions with adequate locomotion and agility.
In a video clip published earlier, GR-1 already showcased exceptional motion control and self-balancing abilities, capable of walking brisky and officiously, avoiding obstacles, scaling and descending gentle slopes, and withstanding external disruptions.
One of the highlights that set GR-1 apart from competitors is that the biped can walk with straight legs, instead of bent knees.
Unlike some rivals, GR-1 doesn’t come with “ostrich legs,” a nickname for the “backward knees” design said to be offering the gadget more stability while in action.
The drawbacks are obvious as well. The absence of this structure in Fourier’s GR-1, standing 1.65m tall and weighing in at 55kg, actually makes it look more human, whether in appearance or posture.
Mobile app to control it all
During the past two months since its debut, the company’s engineers worked tirelessly on iterations to the humanoid. The most notable upgrade has been the release of an app that serves as a user interface for engaging with GR-1.
This allows the user to control the biped with a mobile phone or remote controller, switch between modes of operation and motion control. The app also open-sources the robot as a platform for further development.
When Alex Gu Jie, founder and CEO of Fourier Intelligence, unveiled the robot in July, he said the product targets developers worldwide.
Specifically, Fourier Intelligence provides them with software development kit (SDK) and application programming interface (API) source codes to allow for development of pre-trained large language models.
As a hardware platform, GR-1 also stands out for being scalable, which means it is compatible with extra components and add-ons to customize the robot for an array of applications.
According to a statement by Fourier Intelligence, the idea behind its introduction of GR-1 is to explore an innovative path toward “Embodied AI” in conjunction with global developers.