The cutting-edge projects driving robotics forwards in 2024, according to Bill Gates

Bill Gates commends the work of Agility Robotics in developing its humanoid robots. — AFP Relaxnews

Some voices carry more weight than others in the world of new technologies, and among them is that of Bill Gates, who, has shared some of the cutting-edge robotics initiatives that he’s most excited about at the start of 2024.

In a GatesNotes blog post, Gates shared five of the robotics startups that he's most excited about at the dawn of 2024. For the famous billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft, building machines that function in the same way as the human body, ie, capable of walking, jumping, touching, holding and gripping objects, seems to be an even greater challenge to achieve than developing artificial intelligence, the progress of which can already be seen on a daily basis.

Among the initiatives he is most enthusiastic about is the work of an American startup called Agility Robotics, and what it bills as its “first human-centric, multipurpose robot made for logistics work”. It’s about the same size as a human, can carry heavy loads and, above all, expresses “emotions” via LEDs on its face, thus enhancing interaction between the robot and its human colleagues.

Next up is the original solution proposed by the Israeli startup, Tevel, with its autonomous flying robots dedicated to selective fruit picking, ensuring the harvesting of ripe apples 24 hours a day. Gates also cites Apptronik, whose robots could one day set foot on the Moon or even Mars, to assist astronauts on their missions.

He goes on to praise the work of UCLA's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa), and notably its robot capable of navigating rocky, unstable terrain without ever falling over. And finally, he cites Field AI, a company that develops AI-powered software for robots, making them perfectly autonomous in their various missions.

Ultimately, Gates believes that robots, including humanoid models, will be particularly useful in the event of future natural disasters or major public health crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. On farms, they’ll be able to pull weeds manually, for example.

In factories, they’ll be able to carry very heavy loads all day long. In addition, they're likely to be indispensable in the healthcare sector, the hospitality industry and even in our homes. – AFP Relaxnews

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