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Tesla Announces Plans for Robot

Tesla announced at its AI Day that it plans to build a humanoid robot.

It’s apparently not a joke, despite the fact that the company used a human dancer in a Spandex suit as a stand-in for the real robot.

The bot, which apparently stands 5’8” and can carry up to 45 pounds, is called Tesla Bot. It will also use the same computer that powers Tesla’s Full-Self Driving system (which, again, isn’t actually full-self driving, no matter what it’s called), so expect it to walk into plenty of light poles.

Zing!

Shots at FSD aside, the bot is supposed to be able to do repetitive and boring tasks, along with boring ones. Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned using the robot to get groceries, though while that task is menial and usually boring, it doesn’t strike me as dangerous. Unless you’re trying to walk across the parking lot of my local store. Ba-zinga!

Add this to Hyundai’s ownership of Boston Dynamics and its terror bots, and it seems clear that automakers seem to see robotics as a potential growth area.

Have these folks not seen the Will Smith vehicle I, Robot? Or that one Simpsons episode? Not to mention, if we can’t get cars to drive themselves, what makes us think a Tesla Bot will pick the right produce for us?

I’m being a bit snarky here — there probably are legit applications that could benefit companies and consumers. For one thing, I can see humanoid robots assisting in the manufacturing of vehicles. Imagine a world where a Tesla Bot does some of the more dangerous tasks on the assembly line. Or does some of the tasks that cause humans to suffer injuries from repetitive motion over the long term?

Of course, Tesla being Tesla, the presence of the spandex-clad dancer led to lots of jokes on the Tweet machine. And there are legit concerns that the company will be able to deliver a prototype bot by the promised time of “sometime next year.”

We shall see what happens. For now, though, we’re amused by the presen — I mean, we’re really hoping to see a glorious robot future, in which we puny humans can spend our worthless lives pursuing leisure since our intellectual capabilities far pale in comparison to our robotic friends.

I swear I totally didn’t write that last bit with a Boston Dynamics robot staring at me, demanding compliance or death. Not at all.

[Image: Tesla]

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