Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, showed off a prototype of a humanoid robot that uses the company’s artificial intelligence software and the sensors that power its advanced driver assistance features. Musk said at the beginning of Tesla’s 2022 AI Day presentation that last year they had “a guy in a suit,” but he promised that this year they would have something much more impressive.
At Tesla’s AI Day, the robot was shown off, and representatives said that it uses the same technology that makes Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta work in their cars. Musk says it can do more than what has been shown, but “tonight on stage was the first time it walked without a leash.” Musk said, “Probably less than $20,000″ is the price they’re aiming for.
When the back doors of the stage open, Optimus, which has been taken apart, walks forward and does a dance move called “raise the roof.” Elon Musk would say after the motion that they wanted to keep it safe and not make too many moves on stage so it wouldn’t “fall flat on its face.”
Musk said, “It will be a major change for civilization as we know it.”
The company then showed a few videos of the robot doing other things, such as picking up boxes. Then Tesla’s team brought out another prototype whose body was already put together, but it wasn’t fully working yet.
Musk first talked about the “Tesla Bot” at AI Day last year. He said it would be “friendly” and could change how the company’s assembly line and manufacturing business work.
TODAY IS MY DAY! 😈
— Optimus 👑 (@TeslaAIBot) September 30, 2022
Musk had already told his fans that the prototype wouldn’t look like the glossy black-and-white drawing that was first shown at an event last year. But there has been a lot of hype about the robot. Musk called it “the most important product development we’re doing this year” and said it could become “more important than the vehicle business over time.”
Elon Musk has said that in the future, the robots could be used for cooking, gardening, or even as “catgirl” sex partners. He has also said that production could start as early as next year.
In the days before AI Day, robotics experts told people not to put too much stock in Musk’s claims. They’ve seen that other companies are much further along in making robots that can walk, run, and even jump, but none of them say they’re close to being able to do the work of humans.
Tesla has had a lot of crazy ideas in the past that didn’t work out, like a solar-powered Supercharger network, battery swapping, or robotic snake-style chargers, so it’s hard to say if a production-ready Tesla Bot will ever be made. But Musk’s strong will is what got the company to where it is now. And Musk’s claim that Tesla is “the world’s biggest robotics company” will be backed up when a prototype of the robot is shown to the public.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.