The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, presented yesterday (Friday) a prototype of a humanoid robot named Optimus. According to Musk, the electric vehicle manufacturer intends to produce millions of robots of this model, and sell them for less than $20,000.
"There's still a lot of work to do to perfect Optimus to a practical level," Musk said at the electric carmaker's AI Day event, held at Tesla's California office, where the robot was on display.
Introducing the robot "Optimus", photo: AFP
A prototype model of the robot that Tesla said was developed in February was waved to the crowd, and Tesla showed a video of it doing simple tasks, such as watering plants, carrying boxes and lifting metal bars at the company's California manufacturing plant.
However, Musk's team took the robot out of a cart, as the prototype was still unable to walk.
Musk said he hopes the robot will be able to walk on its own "within a few weeks."
According to him, today humanoid robots are "brainless" and are not able to solve problems by themselves.
According to Musk, Optimus in contrast will be "a robot with extreme capability."
The clear hint of implanting a high-level artificial intelligence in a robot caused many reactions on social networks that referred to Schwarzenegger's "Terminator" film series, where robots with artificial intelligence tried to destroy the human race.
The shape of the robot, which clearly made an effort to give it a human appearance, drew a wave of reactions.
"Terminator" from the film series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, photo: AP
Simulation of "Optimus",
Musk, who previously spoke about the risks of creating artificial intelligence, said that the mass distribution of robots has the potential to "change civilization and create a future of abundance, a future without poverty."
The robot will be equipped with components designed by Tesla, including a 2.3 kWh battery pack, and a chip system to drive its limbs.
It is designed to weigh 73 kg.
Elon Musk introduces "Optimus",
Tesla's Optimus is of course not the first humanoid robot to be developed in recent years, but Henri Ben Amor, a professor of robotics at Arizona State University, told Reuters that the difference between it and other robots that are already being produced these days is Tesla's ambitious price tag.
"Musk's price target of $20,000 is a good deal, as current costs for a humanoid robot are currently estimated at $100,000," said Prof. Ben Amor.
However, he added that "there is still a contradiction between what was presented and the company's ambitions. There is still a lot of work to be done for the robot to reach speed and skill, the ability to walk stably and so on."
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