Home News Covariant: Pioneering the Future of Robotic Automation with AI

Covariant: Pioneering the Future of Robotic Automation with AI


Covariant, a visionary startup in the realm of AI and robotics, is steering the course towards an innovative future where robots are equipped with advanced artificial intelligence capabilities, akin to the transformative impact of ChatGPT in the digital sphere. This development signifies a pivotal shift in robotics, aiming to endow machines with the ability to learn from and adapt to their environment, thereby revolutionizing industries with repetitive tasks such as logistics, manufacturing, and beyond.

Key Highlights:

  • Founded in 2017, Covariant aims to enhance robotic learning for better object manipulation in warehouses and other settings.
  • The startup has raised $222 million in funding to further develop the “Covariant Brain,” a sophisticated AI model for a broad range of applications.
  • Covariant’s technology, informed by millions of item interactions, allows robots to handle a vast array of merchandise with minimal manual configuration.
  • With over 300 robots deployed globally, Covariant is expanding its footprint in the logistics and retail sectors.


The Evolution of AI in Robotics

Covariant, established with the vision of making robots smarter and more adaptable, leverages AI to train networked robots in picking and placing diverse objects—a task central to warehouse operations but complex due to the variety of items’ sizes, shapes, and textures. The company’s approach is distinct in that it builds foundational AI models capable of generalizing learning across different tasks, much like how ChatGPT operates in the language domain. This strategy contrasts with the traditional method of developing specialized AI models for each specific task, offering a more flexible and powerful solution​​​​.

Foundation Model Approach and Its Implications

The foundation model approach, championed by Covariant, is based on the principle of using large, diverse datasets to train a general AI model that can then adapt to a wide range of tasks. This method has shown promise in language models like ChatGPT and is now being applied to robotics to create machines that can understand and interact with the physical world in a more human-like manner. By integrating techniques from large language models (LLMs), such as reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF), Covariant aims to achieve a level of autonomy and flexibility in robots that was previously unattainable​​.

The Covariant Brain: At the Heart of Innovation

Central to Covariant’s technological advancement is the Covariant Brain, an AI system trained on data from millions of robotic interactions with different objects. This proprietary intelligence system enables Covariant’s robots to handle an impressive variety of merchandise “out of the box,” significantly reducing deployment times for retailers and logistics companies. The system supports complex tasks like goods-to-person picking and kitting, demonstrating Covariant’s commitment to addressing the diverse needs of modern warehouses and supply chains​​​​.

With significant investment and a growing portfolio of global deployments, Covariant is on a promising path to redefine the landscape of robotic automation. The company’s focus on developing a generalized AI model for robotics mirrors the groundbreaking impact of GPT models in natural language processing, suggesting a future where robots could become as versatile and intelligent as today’s most advanced AI systems.

As Covariant continues to evolve, the intersection of AI, software, and robotics heralds a new era of innovation, where the physical and digital worlds converge more seamlessly than ever before. This advancement promises not only to transform the logistics and manufacturing sectors but also to set the stage for robots to play a more integrated role in our daily lives