Tesla is building an AI humanoid robot called Optimus, says Elon Musk

Tesla is building an AI humanoid robot called Optimus, says Elon Musk

Tesla will branch out from building electric, self-driving cars to create humanoid robots made to “eliminate dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks” and respond to voice commands from their owners.

The robot, known as Optimus by those inside company, will be 173 centimetres tall and weigh 57 kilograms. Its body will be powered by 40 electromechanical actuators and its own face will include a screen display.

Optimus should be able to carry a cargo as high as 20 kilograms, and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk claims that a working prototype will prepare yourself next year.


Speaking at the company’s AI Day event, made to attract engineering and research talent to the business, Musk said that much of the technology in Tesla’s self-driving cars is applicable to or useful in creating humanoid robots.

“Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotics company because our cars are like semi-sentient robots on wheels,” he said. “It kind of makes sense to place that onto a humanoid form. We’re also quite proficient at sensors and batteries and actuators.”

Read more: Snake-like robot could explore Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus

Musk said the device will be limited by a walking speed of 8 kilometres each hour and you will be deliberately weak enough that most humans will be able to overpower it if needed. “You never know,” said Musk, who had suggested earlier in his presentation that artificial general intelligence – hypothetical AIs that could complete any task a human can perform – was the greatest threat currently facing humanity.

The robot continues to be in development, but automation can make physical work a choice later on, that will have profound implications for the economy and require universal basic income as government policy, said Musk. A human dancer in the suit was presented at the event to give the audience a flavour of what things to expect from the robot.

Tesla also announced an AI-optimised, custom computer chip called D1, which it really is using to make a supercomputer called Dojo. This machine is intended to process vast amounts of camera and sensor data from Tesla cars and train the neural networks behind Tesla’s self-driving technology. These improvements and updates may then be delivered to cars all over the world via the web.

More on these topics:

  • robots
  • AI
  • neural networks
  • robot
  • neural network
  • robotics

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