Tesla today unveiled its Optimus humanoid robot at its AI Day 2022 and Elon Musk thinks Tesla can bring it to market for “less than $20,000.”
Unsurprisingly, the event kicked off with Tesla unveiling a working prototype of its humanoid robot, a project first announced at Tesla AI Day in 2021.
Two prototypes were unveiled at the event.
Tesla started by introducing Bumble C, which is the first version of the bot and was developed with “semi-out-of-the-box” actuators. It served as a test bed for Tesla’s first robot built with in-house parts.
Here’s a photo of Bumble C walking on stage at the event:
He didn’t do anything impressive on stage, but he was able to walk around and wave to the crowd.
Tesla showed some videos of the robot performing some tasks in a controlled environment to demonstrate some level of utility.
The automaker even showed the robot performing a task at an actual workstation in the Fremont factory.
But after Bumble C, Tesla brought the first generation Optimus robot to the stage.
The reason Tesla didn’t lead with it and show off an earlier, cruder prototype is that it couldn’t actually make the new one walk yet.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the new robot should be able to walk in the coming weeks, but he wanted to show it off today as it looks more like the version of the robot that will go into production:
He also couldn’t do much onstage other than wave to the crowd and had to be carried around by Tesla employees.
Musk noted that this version was equipped with Tesla-designed actuators, battery pack and power electronics.
Tesla revealed that it had the first prototype in February 2022, which led to this new version that is now supposed to be released in the next few days.
Tesla shared some Optimus specs, including a 2.3 kWh battery pack, which the automaker says should be good for about a day’s work.
As Tesla announced last year, it is also equipped with the same “autonomous computer” inside Tesla vehicles:
After the presentation on the main specifications and features of the bot, Tesla moved on to a more detailed presentation on the robotic and AI approach to developing it.
Again, Tesla AI Day is all about recruiting and Tesla is basically showing off what it’s working on to help attract talent that would be interested in those details.
At the consumer level, Musk highlighted the fact that while people have seen many impressive humanoid robots before, he insists that Tesla’s effort is different because it is focused on developing a robot that can be manufactured in high volume, as opposed to of the unique projects we have. have seen in the past.
Additionally, Musk said Tesla’s advantage is that its bot will work with its AI, which has been developed primarily for self-driving technology. He believes that Tesla will be able to take advantage of this work to allow the robot to navigate the real world and perform useful tasks.
The CEO reiterated previous comments about how Optimus can bring about a “fundamental change to civilization as we know it” by virtually “ending poverty” through improved economic output when used in industry.
He believes the robot should cost “less than $20,000” to make. He did not update the production schedule, but has previously said that Tesla planned to start production as soon as next year.
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