Most Read This Week: Humanoid Robot Startup Debuts Electric, Somersaulting Robot, Flying Vehicle Company Gets $50M More Funding

Also inside, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has backed a statement that there will be a billion humanoid robots on Earth by 2040

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

January 26, 2024

4 Min Read
MagicLab's electric humanoid robot design

Here are the most read stories in IoT World Today this week:

Humanoid Robot Startup Debuts Electric, Somersaulting Robot

MagicLab, a humanoid robotics startup, has debuted a prototype of its electric bipedal robot. 

In a video release, the robot is shown performing front flips, in a feat of engineering that the company said is the first of its kind to challenge the same moves by Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot

According to the company, potential applications include search-and-rescue, logistics and transportation, industrial automation and entertainment, though the robot’s design is still being developed.

Next, the company said it wants to teach its robot to perform advanced acrobatic moves such as single-leg jumps, back flips and aerial cartwheels.

See MagicLab’s robot in action >>>

Flying Vehicle Company Gets $50M More Funding

Vertical Aerospace, an eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker, has received additional funding of $50 million to support the development of its second-generation flying vehicle. 

The funding came from company founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick.

In tests at Cotswold Airport in Kemble U.K., the remotely controlled plane, which was powered solely by the battery-powered propulsion system, lifted, hovered, flew and landed, reaching speeds of 40 mph. 

Related:Most Read This Week: NASA Gets Closer to Deploying Humanoid Robots in Space, Walmart Expands Drone Delivery

Vertical’s partners have included Honeywell, which is designing the aircraft control system, and Rolls Royce, also an investor in Vertical. 

Vertical said it is aiming for vehicle certification by the end of 2026 and has already received design organization approval (DOA) from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Read more details >>>

Elon Musk Backs Prediction of 1 Billion Humanoid Robots by 2040

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has backed a statement that there will be a billion humanoid robots on Earth by 2040.

Musk wrote on X, formerly Twitter, in agreement with a prediction made by David Holz, founder of AI research lab Midjourney.

Holz wrote that "we should be expecting a billion humanoid robots on earth in the 2040s and a hundred billion (mostly alien) robots throughout the solar system in the 2060s,” with Musk responding “Probably something like that.”

This is not the first time Musk has predicted a humanoid robotics boom. At Tesla’s 2023 Investor Day, he said he expected the ratio of AI-powered humanoid robots to humans to “be greater than one to one” and that one day Tesla’s robot business could be greater than its automotive.

Read more about the humanoid robot landscape >>>

BMW-Backed Flying Vehicle Company Plans Hydrogen-Powered Jet

Swiss aviation company, Sirius Aviation, has announced plans to create a hydrogen-powered VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) jet.

Sirius is partnering with BMW Group's DesignWorks, Sauber Group, noted for its Formula 1 work and with Alfleth Engineering AG and ALD Group. 

The company said it is planning to create two models, the Sirius Business Jet for private travel and the Sirius Millennium Jet for commercial aviation. Both are slated for production by 2025, according to the company.

Even after production, the jet models would still have to receive airworthiness flight testing certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before any flight testing in the U.S. 

Read more details of the jet >>>

Flying Taxi Company Teams With NASA for Batteries

Archer Aviation, an eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) company, has partnered with NASA to study high-performance batteries for space and advanced air mobility (AAM) use cases.

The partners signed a Space Act Agreement, with NASA planning to test Archer’s battery cell and system design and use the results to inform developments in the AAM market. The companies said they will be testing the safety, energy and power performance capabilities of the battery cells.

The deal comes as Archer is beginning to ramp up mass manufacturing of its electric air taxi and follow up on plans to deploy a high-performing battery pack for its Midnight eVTOL air taxi.

Find out more about the deal >>>

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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