Home System concept Tesla says he’s building ‘friendly’ robot that will perform menial tasks, won’t fight back

Tesla says he’s building ‘friendly’ robot that will perform menial tasks, won’t fight back



SAN FRANCISCO – Tesla is used to making big promises. But his most recent is just average height, around 5 feet 8 inches and 125 pounds, according to CEO and self-proclaimed “Technoking” Elon Musk.

Tesla says he plans to build a humanoid robot to do basic tasks, like pulling up cars or shopping for groceries. It’s part of the company’s broader automation ambitions, which include building its own computer chip, dubbed D1, to power the networks of the vehicles it hopes to someday make autonomous.

Tesla previewed the concept during a presentation at its Fremont, Calif., Plant on Thursday, dubbing it the “Tesla Bot” and “Optimus,” and said it would show a prototype next year. . As part of the presentation, a human dressed like the machine made robotic gestures and then danced on stage, possibly demonstrating the range of motion Tesla hopes the bot could someday achieve. Musk was quick to clarify that the dancing robot was not real.

The company touted hardware like its fully self-contained computer and computer chips, which it said could be integrated into a robot. Tesla said the robot will be equipped with a display, Tesla’s eight-camera autopilot system, and the company’s Full Self-Driving computer.

Tesla’s driver assistance systems have recently come under intense scrutiny from industry competitors and federal safety investigators concerned about their rapid deployment on public roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation last week into Tesla’s driver assistance suite, known as Autopilot, following nearly a dozen crashes involving passenger vehicles. emergency parked where the system was activated. Musk, however, expressed confidence that Tesla’s cars will one day be able to drive on their own.

“We have almost all the parts needed for humanoid robots, since we already make robots with wheels,” Musk said on Twitter shortly after the presentation, referring to Tesla’s cars.

Musk, acknowledging that the concept was in its very early stages, said robots would have their own personalities.

“It’s meant to be user-friendly, of course,” Musk said, “and navigate a world built for humans and eliminate dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks.”

Nonetheless, he said, humans need to be prepared for robots to perform menial tasks and ultimately work alongside humans – if not phasing them out of the workplace.

“Essentially in the future, physical labor will be a choice: if you want to do it, you can, but you won’t need to do it,” he said.

Tesla has at times had a contentious relationship with his factory staff, including findings that he broke labor rules in the past and reports that he has called employees back to work during coronavirus shutdowns and fired them for not showing up to the factory line during the pandemic. The company also sought to automate tasks at too fast a rate, forcing it to backtrack and bring people back into the process.

In the mock-up Tesla showed, a robot dressed in white was fitted with sensors. It would be “built by humans, for humans,” according to the slide. The robot could lift up to 150 pounds and move at a speed of 5 mph.

“We set it up in such a way that it’s on a mechanical and physical level that you can run away from it and most likely overpower it,” Musk clarified.

Musk has been wary of artificial intelligence that foils humans, even citing it as the greatest threat to civilization.

He said Tesla decided to pool its resources in what it believed to be an emerging technological area.

“The robot is not motivated specifically by manufacturing needs. It’s just that we’re obviously making the parts for a useful humanoid robot, so I guess we probably should, ”he said. “And if we didn’t, someone else would. … I guess we should do it and make sure it’s safe.

Tesla has a habit of exaggerating deadlines and making excessive promises in its product unveilings and presentations to investors. The company unveiled its Cybertruck electric pickup in November 2019, although the company recently acknowledged that it will not be delivered until 2022 at the earliest. The company also hosted a Battery Day event last year to launch its next-generation battery cell, which would be fitted with its top-of-the-line Model S Plaid-Plus edition.

Earlier this year, however, Tesla announced that it was canceling the Model S Plaid-Plus and delivered the high-end Model S Plaid without the new battery.

Musk said Tesla’s robot could be called upon to perform tasks such as driving a bolt through equipment with a wrench.

“That’s why I think in the long run it will take a universal basic income,” he said, “but not at the moment because this robot is not working.”

“Join our team and help us build this,” he added.