ELON MUSK: On Thursday, August 19, Musk revealed the surprising news during a presentation at Tesla’s A.I. Day event.
The robot then walked onto the stage and performed an amazingly complicated dance after first appearing in a short movie. Except that the stage version was actually a human dressed up as a robot. As the artist slithered away, the Tesla CEO affirmed to the audience, “Obviously it was not real.”
The upcoming “Tesla Bot,” as Musk dubbed it, is intended to “reduce dangerous, repetitive, and uninteresting chores,” and a prototype is anticipated to debut next year.
Musk explained that designing the robot made sense because Tesla engineers have already produced “semi-sentient robots on wheels” in the form of its automobiles, and so much of the technology could be refined and transferred.
The Tesla Bot is 5 feet 8 inches tall, 125 pounds, and has a display on its head that displays “valuable information.” It also includes “human-level hands” and actuators for natural movement.
Tesla Bot comes with a version of Tesla’s autonomous navigation system, which uses numerous cameras to help it navigate and avoid dangerous obstructions. Because it has artificial intelligence built-in, it will be able to learn and respond to commands. As an example, Musk said, “Please go to the shop and bring me the following groceries.”
He also mentioned that it may execute functions on Tesla’s production lines, which may have sent shivers down the spines of the current staff. On this subject, Musk stated that he feels that, as robots take on more and more tasks, providing people with a universal basic income would become a requirement in the future.
Musk joked that Tesla Bot’s top speed is 5 mph “so you can run away from it and most likely overpower it,” adding, “Of course, it’s intended to be friendly.”
Building and deploying a truly functional humanoid robot is clearly a huge job, with Honda, for example, abandoning their remarkable Asimo robot and other more recent efforts falling far short of expectations.
But, when Tesla shows its humanoid robot in 2022, let’s hope it can take the design to the next level and truly amaze us.