Tesla unveils its humanoid robot for ‘less than $20,000’
Tesla unveiled the Optimus humanoid robot today at its AI Day 2022, and Elon Musk believes Tesla could bring it to market for “less than $20,000.”
As expected, the event began with Tesla unveiling a working prototype of its humanoid robot — a project first announced at Tesla’s AI Day in 2021.
Two prototypes were unveiled at the event.
Tesla started by unveiling the Bumble C, the first version of the bot developed with “semi-off-the-shelf” actuators. It served as a test bed for Tesla’s first robot developed with in-house parts.
Here’s a picture of Bumble C walking on stage at the event:
He didn’t do anything impressive on stage, but was able to walk around and wave to the crowd.
Tesla showed some videos of robots performing certain tasks in a controlled environment to demonstrate some level of usefulness.
The automaker even showed the robot performing a task at a real workstation at its Fremont factory.
But after Bumble C, Tesla introduced the first generation Optimus robot.
The reason Tesla didn’t lead in it and showed earlier and rougher prototypes was because they weren’t yet capable of running the new one.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the new robot should be able to run in the next few weeks, but he wanted to show it off today because it looks like a version of the robot that will go into production:
They couldn’t do much on stage without a wave of the crowd and Tesla employees carried it.
Musk noted that this version is equipped with Tesla-designed actuators, battery packs and power electronics.
Tesla revealed that they had the first prototype in February of 2022, leading to this new version that will now go live in the next few days.
Tesla shares some of the Optimus’ specs with a 2.3 kWh battery pack, which the automaker claims should be good for about a day’s work.
As Tesla announced last year, it is also equipped with the same “self-driving computer” in Tesla vehicles:
After a presentation about the bot’s features and key features, Tesla gave a more in-depth presentation about its approach to developing robotics and AI.
Again, Tesla’s AI Day is about recruitment and showing what Tesla is working on to help attract talent that is basically interested in those details.
On a consumer level, Musk highlighted the fact that people have seen plenty of impressive humanoid robots before, but he insists that Tesla’s effort is different because it’s focused on developing a robot that’s productive in high volume — unlike the one-off projects seen in the past.
Furthermore, Musk said that Tesla’s advantage is that its bot will be powered by its AI, which is primarily developed for self-driving technology. He believes that Tesla will take advantage of this work to enable robots to navigate the real world and perform useful tasks.
The CEO reiterated earlier comments about how Optimus could bring about “fundamental change in civilization as we know it” by “ending poverty” by improving economic output while using industry.
He believes the robot will cost “less than $20,000” to build. He didn’t update the production timeline, but he previously said Tesla plans to roll out production as early as next year.