Mentee Robotics Unveils AI-Powered Humanoid Robot for Household and Warehouse Applications

Mentee Robotics Unveils AI-Powered Humanoid Robot for Household and Warehouse Applications

Israel-based startup Mentee Robotics has emerged from stealth mode, revealing its innovative humanoid robot, MenteeBot, designed for household and warehouse applications. Co-founded by Amnon Shashua, the founder of Mobileye and AI21 Labs, Mentee Robotics has been quietly working on this project for the last two years. While still a prototype, MenteeBot showcases the company's unique approach of building a robot with AI at its core, rather than as an add-on.

Mentee Robotics describes its creation as an "AI-first" robot, setting it apart from many other players in the space. The company has developed MenteeBot with AI technologies working across all operational layers, including transformer-based large language models. This enables the robot to interpret natural language commands and "think through" the required steps to complete complex tasks.

In a demo, MenteeBot showcased its capabilities by taking a verbal command and completing a complex task. The prototype was able to navigate, understand its surroundings, detect and localize objects, and grasp items, all while providing a verbal response. This end-to-end task completion is a significant step forward in the world of robotics.

  1. Command Interpretation and Planning: Using transformer-based LLMs, MenteeBot interprets human commands and plans the required steps for task completion.
  2. Cognitive Mapping: It builds a cognitive 3D map of the environment in real-time using NeRF-based algorithms, localizes itself, and plans dynamic paths to avoid obstacles
  3. Locomotion and Dexterity: A Simulator to Reality (Sim2Real) machine learning approach defines locomotion and gait in a simulated environment, which is then adopted in the real world, ensuring dynamic balance and precise hand movements.

Prof. Amnon Shashua, chairman of Mentee Robotics and a renowned expert in AI, computer vision, and natural language processing, stated, "We are on the cusp of a convergence of computer vision, natural language understanding, strong and detailed simulators, and methodologies on and for transferring from simulation to the real world. At Mentee Robotics, we see this convergence as the starting point for designing the future general-purpose bi-pedal robot that can move everywhere (as a human) with the brains to perform household tasks and learn through imitation tasks it was not previously trained for."

The company aims to create a general-purpose bipedal robot with human-like capabilities. The production-ready prototype, expected by Q1 2025, will feature camera-only sensing, proprietary electric motors for advanced dexterity, and fully integrated AI for complex reasoning and on-the-fly learning.

Mentee Robotics enters a competitive market with players like Tesla, Figure AI, and 1X Technologies also developing AI-driven humanoids. NVIDIA's Project GR00T is also providing a general-purpose foundation model for humanoids to multiple companies.

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