San Francisco: Tesla CEO Elon Musk displayed his highly publicized humanoid robot, Optimus, at the electric vehicle maker's "AI Day" event on Friday.
The billionaire hopes to move beyond self-driving cars, despite his repeated promises that have yet to be fulfilled, declaring that a robot business will be worth more than his own cars.
The robot's prototype entered the stage and waved to the audience sitting in their seats. The robot was seen in a video moving metal bars, carrying a box, and watering plants at the automaker's factory.
At an event held at the Tesla office in Palo Alto, California, Musk said the company aims to create a useful humanoid robot as soon as possible.
There is still a lot to be done for Optimus to prove and demonstrate. Musk claimed that current humanoid robots "missing a brain," lack the intelligence to navigate the world independently, in addition to being extremely expensive and in small quantities produced.
Conversely, he claimed, Optimus would be an "extremely capable robot" that would be produced in high volumes, possibly in millions of units, and would be much less expensive than a car that would cost less than $20,000.
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Tesla's long-delayed self-driving technology is another topic Musk is anticipated to cover. According to Elon Musk, without achieving full self-driving capability, the most valuable automaker in the world would be "basically zero". Apart from technical challenges, the company is also facing increasing regulatory scrutiny.
Musk said the event was intended to attract engineers, saying on Twitter late Wednesday that there will be "a lot of technical details and good hardware demos."
Tesla has a mixed history of live demonstrations. Launches are usually met with applause, but in 2019, Musk saw an employee throw a steel ball while breaking glass at the armored window of a new electric pickup truck.
The robot's ability to react in unforeseen situations will be tested. Musk revealed Tesla's plans for a humanoid robot at its AI Day in August last year. This year's event was postponed until the commissioning of the robotic prototype, with the goal of possibly starting production in 2019.
To tease the release of the bot on social media, Tesla used a picture of metal robotic hands, which are shaped like a heart. However, according to Arizona State University robotics professor Henny Ben Amor, creating flexible, human-like hands that can handle a wide variety of objects is incredibly difficult.
According to Musk, Optimus will initially perform tedious or dangerous tasks, such as moving components around Tesla factories or tightening bolts to the car with a wrench. Optimus is a reference to the strong and kind leader of the Autobots in the Transformers media franchise.
There are so many skilled human abilities that it is extremely difficult for a robot to replicate. And that won't change whether the robot is an arm or a humanoid, according to Jonathan Hurst, chief technology officer at Agility Robotics, a company that makes humanoid robots.
According to Musk, robots could one day be used in homes to prepare food, mow lawns, care for the elderly, and even act as a human's "friend" or sexual partner.
He is expected to provide an update at Friday's event about Tesla's plans to introduce self-driving vehicles as well as its high-speed computer, the Dojo, which was unveiled last year and is said to be It is essential for the growth of the company. Self-driving technology.
According to Musk, Tesla should be fully self-driving by the end of this year, and Robotaxi without steering wheels or pedals will be mass-produced by 2024. Musk promised in 2019 the "autonomy" program to deliver 1 million robotaxis by 2020, but has yet to do so.