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Musk announced Tesla’s plan for humanoid robots at his AI Day in August last year
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the robotics business will be worth more than its cars, and on Friday investors, customers and potential workers expect to see a prototype at Tesla’s “AI Day” that could prove whether the robot, named ” Optimus” ready for work.
The robot will be the star of the AI show, but Musk is also expected to discuss Tesla’s long-delayed self-driving technology. In May, Musk said the world’s most valuable carmaker would be “essentially worth zero” without achieving full self-driving capability and faces mounting regulatory probes and technological hurdles.
“There will be lots of technical details and cool hardware demos,” Musk tweeted late Wednesday, adding that the event was aimed at recruiting engineers.
Footage of Tesla’s live demo is mixed. Launches usually draw cheers, but in 2019, when Musk had an employee throw a steel ball at the armored window of a new electric pickup truck, the glass shattered.
A key test for a robot is whether it can handle unexpected situations.
Musk announced Tesla’s plan for humanoid robots at his AI Day last August and postponed this year’s event until August to get his robot prototype up and running, with plans to start production possibly next year.
Tesla teased the robot’s unveiling on social media with an image of heart-shaped metal robotic hands. But building human-like, versatile hands that can manipulate a variety of objects is extremely challenging, said Heni Ben Amor, a robotics professor at Arizona State University.
At first, Optimus, an allusion to the powerful and benevolent leader of the Autobots in the Transformers media franchise, would do boring or dangerous jobs, according to Musk, including moving parts around Tesla factories or fixing a bolt to a car with a wrench.
“There’s so much about what humans can do dexterously that it’s very, very difficult for robots. And it doesn’t change whether the robot is a robot arm or a humanoid shape,” Jonathan Hurst, chief technology officer at Agility. Humanoid robotics company Robotics told Reuters.
Musk said that in the future, robots could be used in homes, prepare dinners, mow the lawn and care for the elderly, and even become a “buddy” for humans or a sexual partner.
At Friday’s event, he is scheduled to give an update on Tesla’s long-delayed plan to introduce self-driving cars and its Dojo high-speed computer, which was unveiled last year and the company said is an integral part of its self-driving development. driving technology.
Musk said he expects Tesla to achieve full self-driving this year and to mass produce a robotaxi without a steering wheel or pedals by 2024.
At the 2019 “Autonomy” event, Musk promised 1 million robotic axes by 2020, but has yet to deliver such a car.