Tesla to use car AI to create humanoid robots
Future. Tesla is launching a humanoid robot using Tesla’s AI autopilot software. That very software is drawing a lot of criticism, but CEO Elon Musk seems determined to develop a bot that can take on boring or dangerous work for humans… as long as the displaced workers will be subsidized.
Musk maketh man
At an event last week, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s newest project — a humanoid robot.
- The “Tesla Bot” will be 5 feet 8 inches tall, weigh 125 pounds, and be able to deadlift 150 pounds (and casually carry 45 pounds.)
- It will have a screen in place of a face, which will present information, making eye contact a welcome impossibility.
- It will use the company’s patented Autopilot software and eight different cameras to maneuver.
- The company hopes to have a prototype ready sometime next year.
Musk said that the bots are “intended to be friendly… and navigate through a world built for humans.” Anticipating skepticism, he also promised that humans will be able to outrun it — the bot can only reach a top speed of about 5mph.
Musk, who has mastered the art of trolling, introduced the bot on stage during an event in Palo Alto… which turned out to be just a guy in a bodysuit.
Not so autonomous
Musk explained the company’s rationale for making the robot: “our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels, [so] it kind of makes sense [to put the software] onto a humanoid form.”
The only problem is that Tesla’s Autopilot software has recently come under government scrutiny — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened up an investigation into the software after a series of crashes with stationary emergency vehicles, and two Senators are pushing the FTC to investigate whether Tesla’s made misleading marketing claims for its Full Self-Driving software.
Still, if Musk can pull this off, he envisions that the robots will be key in helping with labor shortages and provide cover for the government to institute a universal basic income (UBI) for human citizens. “In the future, physical work will be a choice,” prophesied Musk.