Tesla has teased its Optimus humanoid robot prototype with a new image, ahead of a full unveiling planned for September 30.
Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk announced “Tesla AI Day #2” with “many cool updates” on August 19.
The original “Tesla AI Day” held last year was an event focused on the company’s self-driving program. The automaker also unveiled its Dojo supercomputer and announced plans for the “Tesla Bot” humanoid robot – now known as Tesla Optimus.
The AI Day #2 was supposed to be held a year to the day after the first one, but Musk took to Twitter in June to delay the event to September 30. As for the reason for the delay, the CEO said that Tesla may have a working prototype of Optimus by then.
Now at Tesla’s annual shareholder’s meeting, Musk released a new image of the Tesla Optimus to promote the upcoming AI Day #2 event:
The image appears to feature the robotic hands of the actual Tesla Optimus prototype.
At the original AI Day, Musk announced the project by bringing a human in a robot custom on stage – which was obviously a joke – but it also brought criticism as a pie-in-the-sky project. However, the CEO has been doubling down on the project.
The CEO even said that the company aims to start production of the robot in 2023, which surprised many. This is an extremely ambitious timeline for such an ambitious project, but Musk said on several occasions that it has become a priority.
In January, the CEO said that Tesla is prioritizing product development of the Optimus humanoid robot in 2022 over other products.
At the event today, Musk again reiterated that he believes that the humanoid robot business should become bigger than Tesla’s automotive business:
I suspect Optimus is going to be more valuable than the car long-term. It will turn the whole notion of the economy on its head.
The CEO previously stated that the Optimus could be a solution to the labor shortage and create a shift in the economy to greatly reduce costs.
Tesla plans to leverage its existing expertise in power electronics and batteries for electric vehicles to build the robot and use its AI expertise to give it a brain.
At first, Musk said that the robot would be programmed to perform simple and repetitive tasks, including in manufacturing operations like Tesla’s own.
Tesla plans for the robot to improve over time and be able to perform a wider range of tasks that would make it useful for both commercial and consumer applications.
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