As we speak at Tesla’s “AI Day” press occasion, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled an early prototype of its Optimus humanoid robotic, which emerged from behind a curtain, walked round, waved, and “raised the roof” with its fingers to the beat of techno music.
It was a dangerous reveal for the prototype, which appeared considerably unsteady on its toes. “Actually the primary time the robotic has operated with no tether was on stage tonight,” mentioned Musk. Shortly afterward, Tesla workers rolled a sleeker-looking Optimus mannequin supported by a stand onto the stage that might not but stand by itself. It waved and lifted its legs. Later, it slumped over whereas Musk spoke.
All the stay robotic demonstration lasted roughly seven minutes, and the agency additionally performed an illustration video of the strolling Optimus prototype slowly selecting up a field and placing it down, slowly watering a plant, and slowly transferring steel components in a factory-like setting—all whereas tethered to an overhead cable. The video additionally confirmed a 3D-rendered view of the world that represents what the Optimus robotic can see.
Tesla first introduced its plans to constructed a humanoid robotic throughout its AI Day occasion in August of final 12 months. Throughout that earlier occasion, a human wearing a spandex go well with resembling a robotic and did the Charleston on stage, which prompted skepticism within the press.
On the AI Occasion right now, Musk and his crew emphasised that the strolling prototype was an early demo developed in roughly six months utilizing “semi-off the shelf actuators,” and that the sleeker mannequin far more intently resembled the “Model 1” unit they wished to ship. He mentioned it could most likely have the ability to stroll in just a few weeks.
Targets of the Optimus undertaking embody high-volume manufacturing (probably “tens of millions of items offered,” mentioned Musk), low-cost (“most likely lower than $20,000”), and high-reliability. Evaluating the plans for Optimus to present humanoid robots from rivals, Musk additionally emphasised that the Optimus robotic ought to have the brains-on-board to work autonomously, citing Tesla’s work with its automotive Autopilot system.
Shortly afterward, Musk handed over the stage to Tesla engineers that gave jargon-heavy overviews about growing the ability programs, actuators, and joint mechanisms that will make Optimus attainable, replete with fancy graphs however with few concrete specifics about how they might apply to a transport product. “We’re carrying over most of our design expertise from the automotive to the robotic,” mentioned one engineer, whereas one other engineer mentioned they drew a lot of their inspiration from human biology, particularly in joint design.
Earlier within the demonstration, Musk mentioned that they have been having the occasion to “persuade among the most proficient folks on this planet to return to Tesla and assist deliver this to fruition.” Musk additionally emphasised the general public nature of Tesla a number of instances, mentioning that if the general public does not like what Tesla is doing they might buy inventory and vote in opposition to it. “If I am going loopy, you’ll be able to fireplace me,” he mentioned.
[This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes in.]