Late Friday, a basic prototype of the robot that Elon Musk promises will one day be a part of millions of people’s daily lives made its first, hesitant public appearance. It’s pulled on stage by three Tesla employees, without a brain and barely able to wave to an audience.
However, the tech industry’s preeminent showman was unfazed by the robot’s significant limitations, asserting instead that the robot’s technology was close to what his electric vehicle business would put into mass production. It included 28 specifically built actuators to control the robot’s motions, a slender, gleaming metallic body, and a battery pack that could run the robot for an entire day.
The robot demonstration occurred more than a year after Musk initially unveiled Tesla’s plans to construct humanoid robots capable of doing a variety of tasks at home and at work. He was mocked at the time for utilizing a dancing actor dressed in a tight-fighting costume to demonstrate how the robot might appear.
Musk’s objective is to create a viable human robot as soon as possible, which means the machine’s price might ultimately fall below $20,000. He also used Tesla’s annual “AI day” to declare he thought his company’s work on artificial intelligence “might make a contribution to AGI,” or artificial general intelligence, the technology that may allow robots to outthink humans.
The Tesla CEO started with unusual caution on Friday, saying he wanted to “establish expectations” about the present status of the technology before showing off the robot prototype, which is similar to the machine with last year’s dancing robot doppelganger.
Before introducing the Optimus prototype, Musk demonstrated another robot constructed by Tesla engineers using off-the-shelf components from other firms. This one could walk and was shown lugging boxes and watering plants in recordings. It was unclear if the machine was being controlled remotely or walking slowly on stage, waving and doing a careful dance motion.
Musk said that Optimus, the robot, would be able to walk in a few weeks. However, he said that the robots “lack a brain – they lack the intelligence to traverse the environment.”
According to Musk, the robot demos on Friday, as well as updates on Tesla’s self-driving vehicle technology, were designed to entice additional engineers with AI expertise to work at Tesla. His grandiose promises for the robots, on the other hand, ensured a large audience for the event’s YouTube broadcast.