Optimus robot’s prototype unveiled by Elon Musk is finally here:- Be prepared to share space with humanoid robots in the future as Elon Musk just unveiled a new humanoid robot that might replace you at your own workplace, especially with those boring and repetitive tasks.
You already know that artificial intelligence is taking over the world, and its presence is almost everywhere, whether it be your phone, your car, or your smart home devices making AI almost an inevitable part of our life.
When you look at Tesla, the company is known for making some of the most technologically advanced vehicles out there with access to some of the world’s most advanced artificial intelligence systems, all thanks to their self-driving technology. But why would an electric car manufacturer be so keen on developing a humanoid robot?
Remember a time when Elon Musk blamed overreliance on factory robots which resulted in a production hell for the manufacturing facility just four years ago? Musk thought that humans were better at certain jobs.
But now he is rethinking his statement, which could be the reason why during the Tesla AI day of 2021 Musk introduced his plans to build a humanoid robot. This was a surprise to everyone in the industry because nobody was expecting a humanoid robot from an electric car company.
It was initially referred to as the Tesla Bot and now it is called the Tesla Optimus. When you look at the history of the company, Tesla is unlike no other. 20 years ago, nobody would have bought electric cars because they were extremely impractical, and they were too expensive and boring to drive.
But Tesla made electric cars fun, exciting, and affordable to the masses for the performance that these cars offer. Yes, the prices are still on the higher side when compared to your Toyota but you get supercar-level performance with a tesla family sedan.
So it’s clear that Musk sets the bar a lot higher irrespective of the industry he gets into and the billionaire entrepreneur is once again here to repeat his success with electric cars which would change the entire robotics industry forever.
Tesla AI day 2022 was exciting because we finally got to see a working prototype of the tesla bot now known as the tesla Optimus which Musk promised last year and no one thought that Tesla would be able to achieve this in one year!
But why don’t we have humanoid robots already, considering the fact that the Hyundai-owned Boston Dynamics and Honda have been working on several humanoid robots over several decades?
Well, Musk said that the current humanoid robots were missing a brain because of which they don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world all by themselves and they were also extremely expensive because they were made in low volume.
But with the Tesla Optimus that is not the case, because it would be an extremely capable robot that would be made in very high volume, maybe millions of units in volume and it’s going to cost less than $20,000.
This is because a lot of technology is being shared with Tesla’s vehicles like the self-driving computer and the company has got access to some of the world’s most advanced artificial intelligence systems, along with the data that is required to train their AI models to navigate through the world that we build for ourselves.
Musk also stated that these robots could be used in homes for making your favorite dinner, helping you mow the lawn, caring for the elderly people, and could also end up becoming a buddy for humans.
The robot is equipped with a 2.3-kilowatt battery pack that runs on a Tesla SoC and has Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity. The demonstrations focused on addressing the robot’s joints like wrist, hands, and knees and showed how they possessed data for each joint.
You could tell that those hands carry a biologically inspired design because that will help pick up objects of various shapes and sizes. The autopilot software, which is used in their cars, is re-engineered to work with the new form factor and environment.
This could be a fundamental transformation for civilization as we know it and Optimus in itself has a potential of two orders of magnitude of potential improvement of economic output. This particular humanoid robot comes with 28 degrees of freedom.
Of course, that is a lot lower than what the human body provides, but the Optimus still has many degrees of freedom in its hands and even 2 degrees of freedom in its thumb to operate in the real world that we build for ourselves.
Musk also mentioned the application of the Optimus Bot, which includes caring for the elderly and working in Tesla’s own factories. Earlier Musk also stated that the robot would be friendly and would be able to navigate through a world of humans while also eliminating dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks.
What caught the attention of everybody watching the event was the word “friendly”. Is Elon indirectly giving us hints about AI taking over the world sometime in the future? Well, Musk was not always a huge fan of AI despite its advantages and applications in his own company, Tesla.
Looks like Musk forgot all his hate towards the advancement of AI during the 2022 AI day which was super exciting because we finally got a chance to take a look at Tesla’s debut into the world of humanoid robots.
The concept was originally introduced during the company’s 2021 AI day and the company was expecting to come up with the prototype within a year and that just happened! Musk stated that the company’s goal is to make useful humanoid robots as quickly as possible.
This aligns perfectly well with the ambitious nature of Elon Musk which is also the reason behind Tesla’s success even though the company missed several deadlines with the cyber truck, the roadster, and the Tesla semi-truck. If all of this sounds exciting, we are sure that you would want to own one. But what does the price tag look like?
Well, it’s too early to have an official price for the Tesla Optimus. But Musk stated that it will cost less than $20,000. Again, we are not sure what a humanoid robot is going to cost today, considering the fact that we don’t have any mass-produced one yet.
But Musk draws comparison to Tesla cars, stating that the bot will be significantly cheaper. If Tesla could put out a robot for less than $20,000, then these robots would be commonplace in several factories and that’s an exciting future to be a part of. So when will the Optimus be ready?
Well, it’s still in its prototype stage and there is a long way to go before we get the final version of this exciting new humanoid robot because Tesla needs to refine and improve several aspects of this robot.
This is the very first version of the Optimus, and Tesla is looking to expand its AI team to further develop the technology. This way the robot will be able to do more impressive things than just waving or dancing in front of a live audience.
It will take at least three to five years for the very first production version of the robot to go on sale which is a lot of time in the technology world. Tesla with Optimus will soon disrupt the robotics industry just like how the company disrupted the boring and outdated automobile industry.
It is clear that Tesla is extremely ambitious with their projects not just electric cars or energy storage solutions, but also robots, which is why the company was able to build a working prototype in just one year, when several other companies like Boston Dynamics and Honda have been working on robots for years and they still do not have any mass-produced humanoid robots and they are not able to sell their robots for commercial purposes to the masses. That makes us wonder:
Do we actually need a robot to get our mundane tasks done? The integration of AI systems into our daily lives is already happening and the next big step towards a much more advanced application of AI would be with Humanoid robots so you no longer have to do your shopping or work in harsh environments.
There are people who are still confused about Tesla’s decision to build a robot! The reason behind this robot could also be to pump up the stock prices. Tesla also needs to bring in a lot of interest in the company and attract investors’ attention to the brand considering the fact that investors are not happy about Tesla missing their deadlines.
We still don’t have the cyber truck, the roadster 2.0, or the semi-truck on the road. Musk also believes that the robot business of Tesla will one day be worth more than its car business as thousands of them would be put to work, moving parts around factories where humans used to build cars and batteries.
The foundation of the economy is labor so imagine a factory without a labor shortage. Such a system in theory would be much more efficient than humans because robots don’t get exhausted or suffer from burnout, unlike humans!
It’s true that Tesla’s history is littered with several fanciful ideas that never panned out like the very recent vehicles that they announced. But the company is where it is today because of Musk’s sheer determination to make a positive impact and the new robot might position Tesla as the world’s biggest robotics company.
Tesla is already planning to produce millions of these robots, and it’s clear that Tesla is really serious about its humanoid robot business. Even though we are still not sure whether everybody including yourself needs a robot now.
But if any company has the potential to build a robot, that has to be Tesla considering the fact that the Optimus is just a repurposed Tesla car in human form because of all the technology that both of these shares.
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