Rose Velazquez | Aug 08, 2022
Parul Pandey | Nov 14, 2022

It’s a scenario movies and sci-fi stories have predicted for years: an intelligent fleet of human-serving artificially intelligent robots become too smart and take over the world. 

This common storyline has some people worried it will come to real-world fruition — thanks to technological developments in AI and robotics. For many others, though, applying intelligence to robotics is all about furthering innovation.

And innovation there has been.

AI Robot Technology

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that seeks to develop technology to simulate the workings of the human brain. Combined with the field of robotics, AI has been used to develop and innovate intelligent machines that can be used for everything from manufacturing to assisting healthcare providers.

Robotics dates back to 1898, when Nikola Tesla used radio waves to remotely direct the movement of a robot boat in a miniature man-made pond during an electrical exhibition at Madison Square Garden in New York. That experiment led to Tesla becoming the father of robotics. 

Roughly 50 years later, British polymath Alan Turing explored the mathematical potential of AI. He believed if people could use information and reason to solve problems, why couldn’t computing machinery do the same thing, according to his 1950 paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence. The paper covered ways to build intelligent machines and test them as part of the Turing Test.

With robotics on the scene and AI getting a closer look among researchers, scientists and mathematicians, it didn’t take long before the two were combined together to create an AI robot.

Top Companies Using AI Robot Technology

  • Miso Robotics
  • Hanson Robotics
  • Starship Technologies
  • Neurala
  • iRobot
  • Skydio
  • Boston Dynamics

The Stanford Research Institute developed the AI robot Shakey from 1966 to 1972. It marked the first mobile robot that could reason about its actions, according to the Computer History Museum.


Creators of famous Sophia robot reveal AI robotics for children, elderly | Nightline | Video: ABC News

Companies Using AI Robot Technology

From making smart consumer products to creating the first human-like artificial brain, the following companies are doing dazzling things with AI robots.

Location: Pasadena, California

Miso Robotics creates AI robots for use in commercial kitchens. Its cooking robot, Flippy, boasts 3D and thermal vision that enables it to learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills. Miso also launched Flippy 2 in November, noting it can work an entire fry station and can perform more than twice as many food prep tasks as the original Flippy.

More on AIThe Future of AI: How Artificial Intelligence Will Change the World


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Piaggio Fast Forward’s AI robot acts as an extra set of hands. Are your groceries too heavy? Maybe you just can’t carry all your workout gear? Piaggio’s Gita robot uses AI to follow its owner close behind, acting as a versatile, hands-free carrier.


Location: San Francisco, California

Cruise combines AI with machine learning and robotics to develop self-driving, autonomous cars. The company uses AI throughout the planning, simulation and infrastructure of the car in order to ensure that the AI robots can see the world around them in real-time and react safely.


Location: San Francisco, California

Starship creates autonomous robots that help to deliver items within a 4-mile radius. These AI robots are able to take items like groceries, food delivery orders or retail store orders and deliver them to customers using AI to navigate their route.


Location: San Diego, California

Brain Corp’s proprietary technology makes AI robots adaptable and flexible so they can navigate unstructured environments like warehouses and store floors. The robots also have mapping, routing, surface anomaly detection, object avoidance and cloud-based data capture capabilities. EMMA, a Brain Corp robot, was tested in Walmart stores for after-hour floor cleaning. 


Location: Golden, Colorado

Outrider produces autonomous, zero-emission systems for yard operations to promote safety, efficiency and sustainability. The company’s technology helps cut down on repetitive manual tasks, and its management software allows for operations to be monitored on site or remotely. Georgia-Pacific has been among Outrider’s customers.


Location: Redwood City, California

Skydio is a drone manufacturer using AI to develop technology for autonomous flight. Its products include the Skydio 2+ drone, which can reach a speed of 36 miles per hour and can be flown manually or autonomously with the ability to avoid obstacles and capture photos and video. The company provides solutions for multiple sectors, including public safety, defense, construction and telecommunication.


Location: Austin, Texas

Diligent Robotics uses AI to build robotic assistants for the healthcare industry. The company’s Moxi robot is able to deliver medication and lab samples, and it’s equipped with a robotic arm that allows for navigating doors and elevators.


Location: Louisville, Colorado

AMP Robotics puts AI to work to automate recycling. The AI platform that powers the company’s robotic sorting system is able to recognize recyclable materials and distinguish types of plastics, papers and metals.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Perceptive Automata uses machine learning to help autonomous vehicles predict human behavior.  Perceptive Automata’s AI robot technology is constantly teaching autonomous vehicles about human behavior and showing cars how to operate safely in a human driver-dominated world.


Location: Hong Kong, China

Hanson Robotics creates AI robots that not only have a human appearance, but also operate with human-like characteristics. These AI robots have life-like skin made of Hanson’s proprietary nanotechnology called Frubber and their human-like features include eye contact, facial recognition, speech and the ability to hold natural conversations. The robots can produce high-quality expressions that offer a less mechanical robotic experience.


Location: San Francisco, California

Autonomous aircrafts play a role in delivering goods to remote locations, where it’s difficult to get vehicles into the area or cost prohibitive to attempt the delivery. Elroy Air uses AI in its autonomous Vertical Take-Off and Landing cargo aircraft called Chaparral. The AI robot can carry 300 to 500 pounds over a 300-mile range. 

While drones currently make short, last-mile deliveries and carry lightweight products such as groceries or medical supplies, the Chaparral aims to travel further distances with greater load capacity.


Location: New York, New York

UiPath’s Robotic Process Automation software instills AI into robots to help them perform repetitive tasks more efficiently and learn while they go. The unicorn’s AI robot software is helping robots — from retail to manufacturing — speed up tasks in an environment where they no longer have to be supervised by humans.

More on AI54 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Companies Delivering on Innovation


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Neurala created “The Neurala Brain,” AI software that makes an array of devices more intelligent. Already integrated in more than 9 million devices, the technology boosts intelligence in cars, phones, drones and cameras. It has been used by major organizations like NASA, DARPA, Motorola and NVIDIA.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Sea Machines creates autonomous technology for the marine and maritime industry. The company’s technology connects a vessel’s machinery with navigation sensors for autonomous or remote control. The system acts as a data recorder while enabling remote missions or typical workboat routing tasks.


Location: Waltham, Massachusetts

Veo Robotics creates industrial robots with 3D sensing, AI and computer vision capabilities that enhance manufacturing operations. The robots work alongside humans to make workplaces more flexible and efficient, using 3D sensors to detect objects or people nearby and, if necessary, slow or stop. The robots have been used on car assembly lines to handle heavy-lifting while human coworkers perform more delicate tasks.


Location: Bedford, Massachusetts

iRobot uses AI in engineering home robots like the Roomba robot vacuum and Braava mopping robots. With the Roomba, users can schedule the robot to continue cleaning while they’re gone, and the Braava robots can be directed to clean with voice commands. The company’s proprietary technology also guides the robots around obstacles while they clean.


Location: Waltham, Massachusetts

Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot looks like an AI dog robot, and it “has an inherent sense of balance and perception” that’s a product of an AI style the company refers to as “athletic intelligence.” Spot can be used for industrial inspections, allowing customers to use the robot remotely to navigate terrain that might be difficult or hazardous.


Dawn Kawamoto contributed reporting to this story.

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