During the Tesla AI Day, an event showcasing the company’s various developments using artificial intelligence, Elon Musk unveiled the humanoid robot prototype is due sometime next year. Tesla’s billionaire CEO presented an artist’s impression of the humanoid to an audience at the event, stating that the robot would have “profound implications for the economy”.
The robot will be “friendly” and built to eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks for humans. As a result, it will be designed at 5’8, weigh 125 lbs, be able to move up to 5 mph, carry 45 lbs, deadlift 150 lbs and arm extend lift 10 lbs. Musk noted that the robot would be slow enough to run away from and small enough to overpower, joking that, “hopefully that never happens but you never know”.
Musk didn’t specify but stated that the robot will be made up of “lightweight” materials, including 40 internal actuators clustered in its hands, arms and legs, with more dotted around its torso and neck. It will also have two-axis feet for balancing, force feedback sensing in its feet, human-level hands and a display screen on its face for information.
It will also, “make use of all the same tools we [Tesla] have in the car”, which includes autopilot cameras located in the brain area, an FSD (fully self-driving) computer in the chest, as well as features like multi-camera video neural networks, neural net planning, auto-labelling, simulation & tools, FSD hardware and dojo training.
Musk said it cannot act autonomously without line by line code but should be able to pick up a wrench and attach a bolt to a car or go to the supermarket for groceries if instructed by a human.
Discussing the larger implications of the Tesla humanoid robot, Musk noted, “This could be quite profound because if you say “what is the economy?” It’s a foundation of labour. So, what happens if there is no shortage of labour? That’s why I think long-term there will be universal-based income but not right now because it doesn’t work – we need a minute. Essentially, physical work in the future will be a choice. If you want to do it you can but you don’t need to do it”.
Following the presentation, Musk was joined on stage by Tesla colleagues who fielded questions from the audience on a variety of subjects from the three-hour event. When posed a question about expanding its automation technology to other parts of the company, the manager of the automation auto-pilot team let slip the codename of the Tesla Bot, causing Musk to step in and confirm, “Optimus is the codename for the Tesla Bot”.
Earlier in the day, Tesla also revealed the chips it designed in-house for its high-speed computer, Dojo, to help develop its automated driving system. Its release is planned for next year.
You can find more information about Tesla and its humanoid bot on its website.
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