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Category: Manufacturing

Supply Chain News: Tesla Unveils Plan for Coming Humanoid Style Robot


Will Change the Nature of Work and Everyday Tasks, Musk Says, with Claim Robot will be Here in 2022

Aug. 25, 2021
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Presenting during Tesla’s “AI” day, founder Elon Musk surprised the audience by announcing plans for a humanoid style robot.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Musk said that a working prototype will be ready next year – but he has been unable to hit announced targets for Tesla cars and trucks on a rather consistent basis

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Details were sparse, but in a short slide presentation, Musk said the robot would stand about 5-foot, 8t-inches tall, weigh about 125 pounds, and be built from lightweight materials.

One interesting note is that Musk said the robot will borrow technology developed for Tesla vehicles, including its artificial intelligence, autopilot cameras, and computer developed for autonomouns driving.

The robots body will be powered by 40 electromechanical actuators and its face will feature a screen display.

"It's intended to be friendly," Musk quipped, "and navigate through a world built for humans."

The robot will have a name, which will be Optimus, Musk said.

The robot is designed to change the nature of work, Musk said, stating that Optimus was designed to “eliminate dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks” and respond to voice commands from its owners.

But it is being designed not only for replacing labor but also to do everyday tasks such as grocery shopping. Musk spoke of a future in which physical work would be a choice, with all the implications that might mean for the economy.




Optimus will be able to carry an object of up to 20 kilograms, and have a normal walking speed of 5 miles per hour.

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Musk said that a working prototype will be ready next year – but he has been unable to hit announced targets for Tesla cars and trucks on a rather consistent basis over the years.

“Basically, if you think about what we’re doing right now with cars, Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotics company because our cars are like semi-sentient robots on wheels,” Musk said. “With the Full Self-Driving computer, [ … ] which will keep evolving, and Dojo and all the neural nets recognizing the world, understanding how to navigate through the world, it kind of makes sense to put that on to a humanoid form.”

With regard to taking over much current work done by people, Musk opined that “In the long term I do think there needs to be universal basic income. But not right now because the robot doesn’t work.

Interestingly, Musk has spoken repeatedly about his fears of what could happen if there is runaway artificial intelligence.


What are your thoughts on the Tesla robot - and the  future of work? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


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