Musk unveils a humanoid robot

It should be relatively affordable and produced in the millions, the Tesla CEO said.

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Friday showed off a prototype robot called “Optimus,” which is expected to cost less than a Tesla car and be mass-produced.

The presentation of the new device took place during Tesla AI Day 2022, with the bot itself entering the stage and greeting the audience.

Musk noted that the prototype “can actually do more than what we just showed you. We just didn’t want it falling on his face. To prove it, Musk showed a video with the same robot, which was seen carrying a box around the office, watering plants and removing a metal bar from a mechanism in a factory.

The SpaceX founder said the robot is a first-generation prototype called Bumble C, which will eventually evolve into Optimus. He went on to demonstrate the planned final version. Unlike Bumble C, it had no exposed wires and had a much sleeker design. He also fidgeted, but apparently couldn’t walk.

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“There is still a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus,” Musk said, adding that “Optimus is going to be amazing in five or 10 years, like mind-blowing,” and that Tesla would be ready to take orders for the robot in three to five years.

According to Musk, many robots that preceded the Tesla bot are “it lacks a brain” don’t have the smarts to navigate the world on their own and come at a high price – while Optimus will be a “extremely capable robot” with a price below $20,000.

The second Optimus prototype weighs 73kg and relies on the same hardware that powers Tesla’s self-driving vehicle technology. Its battery has a capacity of 2.3 kilowatt hours, which Tesla engineers say is enough for a full day’s work.

The name is apparently an allusion to “Optimus Prime”, a fictional robot from the Transformers franchise who longs for a mutually beneficial coexistence with the human race.


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