Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Friday unveiled a prototype humanoid robot “Optimus” that shares artificial intelligence (AI) software and sensors with the autopilot assist functions of his cars.
Optimus was unveiled at Tesla AI Day 2022, an event designed to demonstrate how far research into autonomous robots and vehicles has come.
According to media reports, the event provided a first look at Optimus, stage walks, updates on the new self-driving software, as well as a first look at the Dojo hardware that powers Tesla’s AI research.
According to Elon Musk, this humanoid prototype can do more than what was shown live. However, it first worked without tethering during the Tesla AI Day event. Musk also claimed that the difference between Tesla’s humanoid and other very impressive humanoid robot demonstrations is that Tesla’s Optimus is built for mass production in “millions” of units and to be very capable.
Here’s what we know so far about Tesla AI Day 2022:
Optimus walks alone
The working version of Optimus was revealed with a long delay. It weighs 73 kg, contains a 2.3 kWh battery, and uses third-party controllers to crawl and wave under its power. Another Optimus was drawn, but only to entertain the audience, and was a sleeker model with a metal shell covering the torso and limbs with Tesla-built thrusters. Following the launch of Optimus, Musk announced on Twitter that a cat version of the Optimus robot would also be available.
Full Self-driving grows to 160,000 beta users
Tesla’s Autopilot team explained how far it has come with fully autonomous driving, which has expanded its beta from 2,000 Tesla drivers last year to 160,000 this year. While it’s only available in the US and Canada so far, Elon Musk has hinted at a possible global expansion. Engineers also explained how they accelerated the car’s decision-making capabilities, from weighing capabilities in milliseconds to 100 microseconds, ten times faster. They also showed how the FSD technique sees the world around the Tesla map in 3D geometry and makes decisions based on what’s around them.
What is a Dojo?
The company is also starting to build a massive, custom-built suite of hardware called Dojo to train its AI on all the video its cars capture and transmit back to Tesla.