Elon Musk previews Tesla Optimus Robot in AI Day, says not ready yet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Friday showed off a prototype of the humanoid robot ‘Optimus’, predicting the electric vehicle maker will be able to make millions and sell them for less than $20,000 (about $16,300. 000 Rupees) – less than a third of the price of the Model Y.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and prove it” Musk told the electric vehicle maker’s “AI Day” event being held in Tesla office in Palo Alto, California, where the robot is on display.

A prototype model that Tesla said was developed in February stepped out to wave to the crowd on Friday, and Tesla showed a video of it performing simple tasks, such as watering plants. , carrying boxes and lifting metal bars at a company’s California production station. plant.

The team deployed the current-generation bot, which is more streamlined on a trolley, and Musk said he hopes it will soon be able to walk on its own.

He said existing humanoid robots are “lacking brains” – and the ability to solve problems on their own. On the contrary, he said, Optimus will be an “extremely capable robot” that Tesla will aim to produce in the millions. He said he expected it to cost less than $20,000 (about Rs 16,300,000).

Representatives of Musk and Tesla acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve the goal of mass production of low-cost robots, using technology designed by Tesla that can replace humans at work.

Other automakers, including Toyota and Honda’s motobikedeveloped humanoid robot prototypes capable of doing complex things like shooting basketballs, and production robots from ABB and others are a mainstay of car manufacturing.

But Tesla is alone in driving the market opportunity for a mass-market robot that could also be used in factory work.

A next-generation Tesla bot, rolled by an employee on stage, will use Tesla-designed components, including a 2.3kWh battery pack carried in the body, a chip system, and actuators to control the limbs. its. The designed robot weighs 73 kg.

“It’s not ready to walk. But I think it will go away in a few weeks,” Musk said.

Musk has described the event as aimed at recruiting workers and engineers on stage serving a technical audience. They detail how Tesla designed the robotic hand and used crash simulation technology to test the robot’s ability to fall onto the face of the robot without breaking.

Musk, who has spoken about the risks of artificial intelligence, said mass deployment of robots has the potential to “transform civilization” and create “a rich future, a future free of poverty.” hungry”. But he said he believes it’s important that Tesla shareholders have a role to play in keeping an eye on the company’s efforts.

“If I go crazy, you can fire me,” Musk said. “This is important.”

Many of the above reactions Twitter have all been positive, focusing on the pace of Tesla’s growth since last August, when Tesla announced its project with a stunt man in a white suit simulating a humanoid robot.

Henri Ben Amor, a robotics professor at Arizona State University, said Musk’s $20,000 price target (roughly Rs 16,300,000) is a “good proposition”, as current costs are around $100,000. la (approximately Rs 82,000) for the humanoid robot. .

“There was some difference between the kind of ambition and what they presented,” he said. “When it comes to dexterous pace, steady walking ability and such, there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Aaron Johnson, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, also says the need for robots is controversial.

“What’s really impressive is that they got to that point so quickly. What’s still a bit murky is what exactly is the use case for them to make millions” of these,” Johnson said.

Tesla also discussed its long-delayed self-driving technology at the event. Engineers working on self-driving software describe how they trained the software to choose actions, such as when to merge into traffic, and how they accelerated computer decision-making.

In May, Musk said that the world’s most valuable automaker would “be worth essentially zero” if it didn’t achieve full self-driving capabilities and it faced regulatory probes. increasing, as well as technological barriers.

Musk said he hopes Tesla will achieve full self-driving capabilities this year and mass-produce robotaxi without a steering wheel or pedals by 2024.

At an “Autonomy” event in 2019, Musk promised 1 million robots by 2020 but has yet to deliver such a vehicle.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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