Elon Musk, a tech billionaire, showed off the latest version of a humanoid robot that his Tesla electric car company is making. Optimus showed up on stage at an event in Silicon Valley. It waved to the crowd and put its knees up.
The CEO Elon Musk said that the robot was still being worked on, but that it might be for sale in a few years. Engineers at Tesla say that the mass-market robots will be put to the test by doing jobs in the car factories.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2022
During a presentation on Tesla AI Day, which happens once a year, the prototype was rolled onto the stage. In a video that was shown to people, Optimus did simple things like water plants, carry boxes, and lift metal bars.
Mr. Musk said that the robots would be made in large numbers and sold for less than $20,000 (£17,900) in three to five years. The head of Tesla said that “a future of plenty” was coming.
— Tesla (@Tesla) October 1, 2022
He went on to say, “It really is a fundamental change of civilization as we know it.”
The Terminator path
Investors and financial analysts are sceptical that Tesla will get into robotics. Instead, they want the company to focus on projects related to its main business, which is making electric cars. But Mr. Musk said he wanted to figure out how to make a machine that can replace a person, which is one of the hardest problems in AI.
The businessman, who once said that artificial intelligence was a threat to humanity, said that Tesla wanted to make sure it was safe for people to move to a society where robots do the work and people get the benefits.
“We should always be careful not to go the way of Terminator,” he said, referring to a hit movie about a killer robot. He also said that Tesla was adding safety features, such as a stop button that couldn’t be changed.
Mr. Musk said that the company’s shareholders would decide if it was socially responsible or not. The goal of Tesla’s AI Day is to find new employees and show off its newest products.