Tesla has once again provided us with a technological advancement that may have just reached new heights. CEO Elon Musk revealed a prototype of a humanoid robot called “Optimus”.
The robot shares some features with Tesla Motor’s cars with Autopilot Driver Assistance, which uses AI software and sensors to navigate the vehicle without driver assistance. Optimus was unveiled during Tesla’s 2022 AI Day.
Compared to what Musk showed the last time he teased the audiences with a humanoid robot, which was just a guy in spandex, this was definitely another achievement for the future of Tesla.
What Can the Robot Do?
The robot Optimus was able to walk on stage and function without a tether, which allows for a high-bandwidth data transfer and extended operation.
A deconstructed version of Optimus was revealed through the back door of the stage being opened, and they called it “Bumble C”. The robot walked forward and did a dance move, according to an article from The Verge.
Although, Elon Musk admitted that they don’t want the robot to show too much for the sake of demonstration as it may “fall flat on its face” and incur damages. They then showed video clips of the robot doing menial tasks like picking up boxes.
Musk claims that the Tesla bot would be able to understand verbal commands, and that it would have the dexterity that a human hand has. It’ll be able to move at five MPH and will be able to carry up to 125 pounds, as mentioned by Engadget.
Is Mass Production in the Near Future Possible?
Yes, it is. Tesla’s team brought out a prototype without exterior paneling so people would see the Tesla-designed actuators inside. It is fully assembled but not yet fully functional. It did holp up its hand and waved at the audience.
The Tesla team predicted that the robot will cost around $20,000. Musk claimed that the difference between the impressive humanoid projects from others and Optimus is that Tesla’s robot was made for mass production in the millions.
A Deeper Dive Into Optimus
The robot will have a 2.3kWh battery pack and it runs on Tesla SoC and has WiFi and LTE connectivity.
There have been demonstrations to dress how they will process data for each joint like the hands, wrists, or knees. The Tesla team said that the humanoid hands are “Biologically Inspired Design” which was mentioned in The Verge.
Tesla’s Autopilot software was adapted to the robot’s build and the environment it will interact with. Optimus’ future might hold tasks like cooking or even gardening.
Musk said that their goal is to make useful humanoid robots as soon as possible, as said in an article from The Guardian. Though, he claimed that Optimus still lacks the intelligence to navigate the world by itself.
The tech billionaire even said that the robot business will be worth more than its cars, and Tesla hopes to expand beyond their self-driving vehicles.