Tesla unveils Optimus robot… for real this time
The Future. A year after pranking everyone with a dancer in a suit, Musk showed off the real Tesla Bot that he’s been hyping up. Dubbed “Optimus,” it’s a humanoid robot that will be able to do all the things we don’t want to do. Ultimately, Musk views Optimus as the savior of labor shortages worldwide and maybe even to replace labor altogether… forcing governments to offer a universal basic income in return for the displacement. As with all things Musk, that’s very ambitious.
Full self-driving robot
Tesla’s real humanoid robot finally debuted at the company’s AI Day last Friday.
- Insider reports that the Optimus is 5-foot-8, weighs 125 pounds, can walk five mph, and lift up to 150 pounds.
- It has a screen for a face that can display “useful information,” sees via the same cameras used for Tesla’s Autopilot feature, and “thinks” with the same computer system found in the vehicles.
- Musk said that the robot should be available for consumer purchase in less than 10 years and will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $20,000, according to WSJ.
During the event, the functioning robot “took a few steps, waved to the crowd, and performed some basic dance moves” — the first time Optimus had done any of those things without some tether attached to it.
Apparently, the robot can already do more, but Musk didn’t want it to “fall on its face.” (Because let’s be real, Twitter would eat that alive.) He also showed off a sleeker, non-functioning model that allegedly looks more like the version that will ship out… eventually.
So, what does Tesla envision the Optimus being used for?
- To start, it will be used to assist workers in Tesla factories (although, Musk has tweeted in the past that “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake” and “humans are underrated”).
- But it’ll eventually be able to do household chores like “tidy up, make dinner, mow the lawn, shop for groceries, and take care of elderly family members.”
- For people who can’t afford to purchase an Optimus outright, Musk would like to make them available for rent by the hour.
While Musk says the Optimus may eventually “be more valuable than the car long term,” it’s not the first company to debut a humanoid robot this year. Xiaomi showed off the CyberOne this past August in a similar presentation… meaning the race is on to get to market first.