There were been some very ambitious announcements by Elon Musk at the AI Event by Tesla back in August. Among them were humanoid robots made by Tesla. To add to that, Musk had promised that a prototype would be fully functional next year. As 2022 is just around the corner, let’s look at what Musk’s Teslabot promises to do.
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The Technology Powering The Robots
The robot that Elon Musk presented would be extensively using the technology a lot of us are already familiar with – Tesla’s cars. However, instead of the AI driving human passengers, while obeying traffic rules, from one place to another, this time it will direct a completely autonomous robot. It will have the hardware to do Full Self Driving as well as 8 cameras and a screen inside its head.
As per Musk’s presentation, the robots will have a height of 5’8”, with a weight of about 125 pounds. Much lighter than the average human. It will also have a 5 miles per hour top speed and will be able to carry up to 45 pounds. However, when it comes to deadlifts, it can do up to 150 pounds, while it will be able to lift 10 pounds using an extended arm.
The Tesla robots have been given the codename “Optimus Prime”, as a reference to the famous sentient alien robot from the “Transformers” series.
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The Vision Behind The Tesla Bot
Musk said that he, as well as Tesla, wants the humanoid robots to do the “dangerous, repetitive, and boring” tasks. For example, he talked about getting groceries or fixing cars. Musk is building these robots as an addition to our present workforce.
To explain his vision further, he talked about his idea of the economy. Musk said: “What is economy? It is, at the foundation, it is labor. What happens when there is no shortage of labor?”
As such, Elon Musk wants to fill the gaps in labor wherever it exists. The robots will ensure humanity will always have a labor force regardless of whether humans exist or not.
Additionally, the specifications of the robots also ensure that these machines will not be stronger than human beings. Musk even said at the time that “you can run away from it… and most likely overpower it.”
However, there has been a lot of skepticism over this ambitious project of Musk’s. For example, Professor Raj Rajkumar of Carnegie Mellon University said that it will take at least a decade until humanoid robots can pick up groceries.
Musk And His Promises
Be that as it may, the Tesla robots are one of the numerous ambitious and revolutionary projects that Musk says will start surfacing next year. The others include brain chips, by Neuralink, that will help people suffering from permanent spinal cord or brain injury to regain normal mental and physical functions.
So far, many of Musk’s announcements have not lived up to the hype. This includes the Cybertruck and the deadlines for Mars colonization. The projects, however, may have missed the deadline but they are still progressing. So, as some more years come about, there might actually be robots walking on the streets carrying grocery bags. Science fiction might come true again!
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- Live Stream
- “Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Release Humanoid Robots Next Year.” IGN. Adam Bankhurst. August 20, 2021.
- “Musk says Tesla likely to launch humanoid robot prototype next year.” Reuters. Hyunjoo Jin. August 20, 2021.