A rendering of Figure 01, a humanoid robot being built by a startup called Figure. Why it matters: Demographic trends — such as a persistent labor shortage and the growing elder care crisis — make fully-functioning, AI-driven humanoid robots look tantalizingly appealing. "We just got done in December with our full-scale humanoid," Adcock tells Axios. Yes, but: Humanoid robots are staggeringly difficult to build and engineer to perform reliably. Tesla's Optimus humanoid robot is likely to be Figure's chief competition — Elon Musk has described similar ambitions to Adcock's for the "Tesla Bot."