As we speak at Tesla’s “AI Day” 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 ft. “Actually the primary time the robotic has operated and not using a tether was on stage tonight,” stated Musk. Shortly afterward, three Tesla staff 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.
The complete reside robotic demonstration lasted roughly seven minutes, and the agency additionally performed an indication video of the strolling Optimus prototype choosing up a field and placing it down, slowly watering a plant, and shifting 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 at the moment, Musk and his workforce 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 needed to ship. He stated it will in all probability have the ability to stroll in a couple of weeks.
Objectives of the Optimus undertaking embody high-volume manufacturing (probably “tens of millions of models offered,” stated Musk), low-cost (“in all probability lower than $20,000”), and high-reliability. Evaluating the plans for Optimus to current humanoid robots from opponents, 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 overviews about creating the facility methods, actuators, and joint mechanisms that will make Optimus doable, replete with fancy graphs. “We’re carrying over most of our design expertise from the automobile to the robotic,” stated one engineer, whereas one other engineer stated they drew a lot of their inspiration from human biology, particularly in joint design.
Earlier within the demonstration, Musk stated that they had been having the occasion to “persuade among the most gifted folks on this planet to come back to Tesla and assist deliver this to fruition.” Musk additionally emphasised the publicly-owned nature of Tesla a number of occasions, mentioning that if the general public does not like what Tesla is doing they may buy inventory and vote in opposition to it. “If I’m going loopy, you possibly can fireplace me,” he stated.
After the two-and-a-half hour presentation, which additionally included prolonged updates on Tesla’s work with Autopilot AI, the Tesla workforce gathered on stage to provide detailed answered questions from the viewers for over an hour.
[This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes in.]