New Tesla ‘Optimus’ Robot Revealed

Screenshot of the Optimus Telsa bot from Tesla's AI Day live stream. | Image by John Koetsier

Last Friday Elon Musk displayed Tesla’s ‘Optimus’ robot, a humanoid robot prototype. Tesla hopes to sell millions and sell them for around $20,000.

With the project already in the works for over a decade, it is expected to take three to five years before the robot would be ready for purchase.  Musk hopes that robotics will one day be a bigger portion of their revenue than their electric vehicles.

The robots would also be used and tested by working jobs in Tesla factories. Musk hopes that this new use of artificial intelligence will expand their brand beyond mere cars.

A test robot was developed in February; at its reveal, it walked out and waved to the crowd. It can also do simple tasks, such as watering plants or carrying boxes.

Optimus, however, is a more current version that had to be rolled onto the stage but was able to give a wave as well.

Musk said that there is a lot of work left to do on Optimus, but believes that “Optimus is going to be incredible in five or 10 years, like mind blowing.”

Optimus is set apart from other humanoid robots, as it would be extremely capable, according to Musk.

Toyota and Honda have also been dabbling in the AI industry with both humanoid robots and production robots. Tesla stands apart from them, as it is the only one pushing for a mass-market robot, that can also work in a factory.

Musk stated that Tesla is “trying to follow the goal of fastest path to a useful robot that can be made at volume.”

Tesla is hoping to further appeal to investors interested in climate change through its recent involvement in AI. They are committed to accelerating “the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Musk admits that the Optimus robot is not 100% “in line with accelerating sustainable energy.” However, he believes that it embodies the same energy in looking to make “the future awesome.”          

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