Right now 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 arms 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 and not using a tether was on stage tonight,” mentioned Musk. Shortly afterward, Tesla staff rolled a sleeker-looking Optimus mannequin supported by a stand onto the stage that would not but stand by itself. It waved and lifted its legs. Later, it slumped over whereas Musk spoke.
All the reside robotic demonstration lasted roughly seven minutes, and the agency additionally performed an indication video of the strolling Optimus prototype slowly choosing 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 swimsuit resembling a robotic and did the Charleston on stage, which prompted skepticism within the press.
On the AI Occasion right this moment, Musk and his staff 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 way more carefully resembled the “Model 1” unit they wished to ship. He mentioned it might in all probability be capable to stroll in a number of weeks.
Objectives of the Optimus venture embody high-volume manufacturing (probably “tens of millions of models offered,” mentioned Musk), low-cost (“in all probability lower than $20,000”), and high-reliability. Evaluating the plans for Optimus to current 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 creating the facility techniques, actuators, and joint mechanisms that will make Optimus attainable, replete with fancy graphs however with few concrete specifics about how they’d 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 had been having the occasion to “persuade among the most proficient individuals on this planet to return to Tesla and assist carry 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 may buy inventory and vote towards it. “If I’m going loopy, you may hearth me,” he mentioned.
[This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes in.]