At Tesla’s AI Day, CEO Elon Musk debuted the much-touted humanoid robot Optimus. The event on Friday had the humanoid walk onstage and wave to the crowd as the company is looking to further push the boundaries for the future of technology.
Advancing into the field of robotics, the humanoid is powered by a 2.3-kWh battery and software from Tesla‘s Autopilot to steer itself. Previewed back in August 2021 during the company’s last AI Day, the robot was promised to repetitive physical tasks and have a top speed of 5 mph. “The importance of Optimus will become apparent in the coming years,” Musk stated earlier this year.
He also said that he foresees the robot business being larger than cars, even though the much-awaited self-driving vehicles have yet to hit the market on a full scale, despite repeated promises. One such promise was in 2019 Musk promised robotaxis by 2020 but has yet to deliver such a car.
Along with walking and waving to the eager audience, the audience was also shown a video of some tasks the robot completed. At Tesla’s factory, the robot moved metal bars, carried a box, and watered plants.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and prove it…but our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” said Musk.
As the humanoid doesn’t have a brain, it doesn’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by itself. A key upcoming test is to see whether it can handle unexpected situations as Musk said Optimus would be an “extremely capable robot”, unlike other competitors.
He also anticipates these to be made in mass volume, millions of units, and cost under $20,000. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, Musk sees these robots being part of people’s everyday lives. Making dinners, mowing the lawn, caring for the elderly, and even becoming a “buddy” for humans or a sex partner.