Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the electric vehicle maker’s much-anticipated humanoid robot “Optimus” would cost less than $20,000 and warned there’s still a long way to go before it’s fully functional.
There’s still work to be done to refine and prove Optimus,” Musk said at the electric vehicle maker’s AI Day event, held at a Tesla office in Palo Alto, California.
Musk said that existing humanoid robots “lack a brain” and the ability to solve problems themselves. In contrast, he said, Optimus is an “extremely capable robot” that Tesla plans to produce in the millions. He said he expected it to cost less than $20,000.
Tesla said the company developed a prototype for its robot in February. This early model went out to wave to the crowd on Friday, and Tesla shared a video of it completing simple tasks like watering plants, carrying boxes and lifting metal bars at a production station at Tesla’s California plant.
Musk and Tesla officials acknowledged that there is still work to be done to achieve the goal of a mass-produced, low-cost robot with technology developed by Tesla that would be able to replace humans at work.
Other automakers, including Toyota Motor and Honda Motor, have developed prototype humanoid robots that can do complicated things like shoot a basketball, and production robots from ABB and others are a mainstay of car manufacturing.
But Tesla is the only one pushing the market opportunity for a mass-market robot that could also be used in factory work.
A next-generation Tesla bot, wheeled onto the stage by employees, will use Tesla-designed components including a 2.3 kWh battery pack carried in its torso, a chip system and actuators to power its limbs . The robot is designed for a weight of 73 kg.
“It wasn’t quite ready to walk yet. But I think it will be up and running in a couple of weeks,” Musk said.
Musk has described that the event was designed to recruit workers and the engineers on stage were aimed at a technical audience. They described the process Tesla used to design robot hands and used crash simulator technology to test the robot’s ability to fall on its face without breaking.
Musk, who has previously spoken about the risks of artificial intelligence, said the mass adoption of robots has the potential to “transform civilization” and create “a future of abundance, a future without poverty.” But he said he believes it’s important that Tesla shareholders play a role in reviewing the company’s efforts.
“If I go insane, you can fire me,” Musk said. “This is important.”
Tesla also spoke about its long-delayed self-driving technology at the event. Engineers working on Auto-Self-Driving software described how they trained software to select actions, e.g. B. when they merge into traffic, and how they accelerated the computer decision-making process.
In May, Musk said the world’s most valuable automaker would be “worth basically zero” unless it achieves full self-driving capability, and that it faces mounting regulatory scrutiny as well as technological hurdles.
Musk said he expects Tesla to be fully autonomous this year and to mass-produce a robotaxi with no steering wheel or pedal by 2024.
At a 2019 Autonomy event, Musk pledged 1 million robotic taxis by 2020, but has yet to deliver such a car.
https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/news/optimus-primed-elon-musk-unveils-teslas-humanoid-robot-but-admit-it-is-missing-a-brain-42031913.html Optimus primed: Elon Musk unveils Tesla’s humanoid robot but admits it ‘lacks a brain’