Automakers Magna to trial Sanctuary AI’s humanoid robots

  • Sanctuary AI has partnered with the Magna manufacturing facility in Canada to deploy its humanoid robots.
  • This follows similar deals announced by Figure and Apptronik, which are trialling their humanoid systems with BMW and Mercedes respectively.
  • Sanctuary AI’s humanoid robot, Phoenix, introduced in 2021, features walking capabilities and dexterous hands.

The partnership between Sanctuary AI and Magna, along with similar collaborations in the automotive industry, signals a growing trend of integrating humanoid robots into manufacturing processes. However, the success of these initiatives will depend on obtaining a tangible return on investment. Using low cost to achieve high revenue is now the most important part of the robot deployment strategy.

-Jennifer YU, BTW reporter

Sanctuary AI announced that it will be delivering its humanoid robot to a Magna manufacturing facility.

Cooperation between humanoid robots and automobile companies

Based in Canada, Magna has an automotive manufacturing facility in Austria that builds and assembles vehicles for several of Europe’s top automakers, including Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW.

This follows similar deals announced by Figure and Apptronik, which are trialling their humanoid systems with BMW and Mercedes respectively.

Magna invested in Sanctuary AI back in 2021, right around the time Elon Musk plans to develop a humanoid robot for Tesla factories. The company would later dub the system “Optimus.”

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Phoenix, the first humanoid with walking capabilities

Vancouver-based Sanctuary unveiled its system, Phoenix, in May last year, which stands 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 155 pounds, and is the first humanoid robot with the ability to walk.

While Phoenix marks Sanctuary’s first humanoid robot with the ability to walk, it’s worth noting that the available video primarily shows the system’s torso.

Additionally, the company is working to develop dexterous hands, which are crucial to expanding the robot’s capabilities beyond simple movement.

Sanctuary calls the pilot project “a multi-disciplinary assessment of improving cost and scalability of robots using Magna’s automotive product portfolio, engineering and manufacturing capabilities, and a strategic equity investment by Magna.”

The company did not disclose details such as the number of robots, the duration of the pilot, or even the specific factories where the robots were deployed.


Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu is an intern reporter at BTW Media covering artificial intelligence and products. She graduated from The University of Hong Kong. Send tips to

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