Nvidia enlists humanoid robotics’ biggest names for new AI platform, GR00T

Nvidia enlists top humanoid robotics firms for new AI platform, GR00T

The humanoid form factor is a highly debated topic within the realm of robotics, attracting significant investments and sparking doubts simultaneously. Recognising the potential, Nvidia – the leading hardware company in artificial intelligence – aims to make its mark in the humanoid race with Project GR00T.

At their annual GTC developer conference, Nvidia announced the launch of Project GR00T, a “general-purpose foundation model for humanoid robots.” The initiative involves collaboration with major humanoid robot manufacturers such as 1X Technologies, Agility Robotics, Apptronik, Boston Dynamics, Figure AI, Fourier Intelligence, Sanctuary AI, Unitree Robotics, and XPENG Robotics. Notable absentees include Tesla.

Agility Robotics’ co-founder and Chief Robotics Officer, Jonathan Hurst, commented, “Modern AI will accelerate development, paving the way for robots like Digit to help people in all aspects of daily life…we’re excited to partner with NVIDIA to invest in the computing, simulation tools, machine learning environments, and other necessary infrastructure to enable the dream of robots being a part of daily life.”

Sanctuary AI’s co-founder and CEO, Geordie Rose, added, “Technology this important shouldn’t be built in silos…”

Project GR00T will incorporate new hardware from Nvidia, including the Jetson Thor computer, specially designed for running simulation workflows, generative AI models, and more for the humanoid form factor. Despite cautions against using ‘general purpose’ for these machines, Nvidia’s involvement validates the category, likely accelerating development.

GR00T will feature a next-generation GPU based on NVIDIA Blackwell architecture with a transformer engine delivering 800 teraflops of 8-bit floating point AI performance to run multimodal generative AI models like GR00T. An integrated functional safety processor, high-performance CPU cluster, and 100 GB of Ethernet bandwidth simplify design and integration efforts.

This week’s GTC robotics announcements included two more key programs: Isaac Manipulator and Isaac Perceptor. Isaac Manipulator focuses on providing state-of-the-art dexterity and modular AI capabilities for robotic arms, offering up to an 80x speedup in path planning and increasing efficiency and throughput via zero-shot perception. Major players involved include Franka Robotics, PickNik Robotics, READY Robotics, Solomon, Universal Robots, and Yaskawa.

Meanwhile, Isaac Perceptor targets autonomous mobile robotics (AMRs) with multi-camera, 3D surround-vision capabilities. Companies like ArcBest, BYD, and KION Group have already expressed interest.

As the humanoid vs. mobile manipulator market battle unfolds over the coming years, Nvidia intends to claim a stake in both arenas.

Nvidia enlists humanoid robotics’ biggest names for new AI platform, GR00T