Not a man in a suit. Humanoid shaped robot Optimus will apparently cost just $20,000, as Elon Musk shows off early prototypes of robot
Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the weekend held Tesla’s AI Day 2022 and showed off its prototype robot to the world.
Tesla’s AI Day event is essentially a series of tech talks hosted by the EV maker to recruit machine learning talent and excite investors about future technologies.
Fulfilling previous reports, Musk showed off two prototypes of its humanoid robot (known as Tesla Bot or Optimus).
Bumble C prototype
It should be remembered that Elon Musk had used Tesla’s ‘AI Day’ event in August 2021 to tout a humanoid robot it intended to build.
The Tesla Bot is designed to eliminate “dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks”, but the first unveiling was marred by what turned out to be a human actor in a Telsa Bot body-stocking who took to the stage and proceeded to dance and gyrate around in a ‘robotic’ manner.
One year later and Musk used Tesla’s AI Day to tout his usual amount of hype and misdirection about the new robot – but this time he had working (albeit limited) prototype.
A video of the event can be found here – skip to the 15 minute mark.
He displayed two robots. The first is named Bumble C, and was a “rough development robot” seen walking across the stage.
It was the first time it has been unthethered with no external cables or cranes, and it walked, lifted its arms and waved.
Musk showed pre-recorded videos of this robot moving items or picking things up.
The second Optimus robot (with an external covering) was described by Musk as “fairly close to what will go into production”, but it is currently not ready to walk.
It had to wheeled out onto stage and was only shown waving its hands and moving its arm.
Musk repeated his ambition to create “a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” one that can be “made in very high volume, ultimately millions of units” and that will “cost much less than a car – much less than $20,000.”
The basic specs for Optimus is that it will weigh 73kg (up from previous touted 57kgs) , has 28 degrees of freedom in its limbs, and is powered by a 2.3kWh battery that Tesla claims lasts for a full day of work.
The stand-out mechanical feature is the hand, which is modelled after a human hand.
Tesla showed how it’s been porting over the software used to power itself-driving cars for navigation and control of Optimus.
Musk has previously said that robots could be used in homes, making dinner, mowing the lawn and caring for the elderly people, and even becoming a “buddy” or a “catgirl” sex partner.
It will have a screen instead of a face, and is designed so humans can run away from it (it can only run at 5 miles per hour) or people can overpower it.
If a humanoid robot works and can perform repetitive tasks that only humans can do today, Musk previously said, it has the chance to transform the world economy by driving labour costs down.
The robot business eventually may be worth more than Tesla’s car revenue, Musk has reportedly touted.