Image source: La Ronge Northerner
On Friday, Tesla unveiled the company’s future product: a prototype humanoid robot capable of walking.
The unveiling took place during Tesla’s second annual AI Day in Palo Alto, California.
During the six-hour event, Elon Musk and company shared updates on the “Full Self-Driving” artificial intelligence, the Tesla “Dojo” supercomputer, and a humanoid robot.
The robot, called Tesla’s Optimus, walked stiffly across the stage during the event.
Optimus met the crowd, slowly waved to the crowd, and gestured its hands for over a minute.
According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, that night was the first time Optimus had operated without a tether.
Robotics developers use chains to support robots, especially since they cannot walk in the early stages without falling and injuring themselves.
Comparing Optimus with other robots
Despite the impressive display, Optimus’ skills show that he is still within walking distance of what robots can do at Huwandai-owned Boston Dynamics.
Boston Dynamics has developed robots that can move without a chain.
In addition to Boston Dynamics, Honda has been developing robots called “Asimo” for nearly two decades.
In its final form, Asimo was a child-sized human robot.
Asimo is able to do things by itself, including walking, running, climbing, climbing stairs, and working on objects with its fingers.
Video clips showed them capable of performing backflips and even complex dance routines.
However, Musk says Optimus can do a lot more.
“The robot can actually do a lot more than we just showed you,” he said.
“We just didn’t want it to fall on its face.”
Tesla showed videos of Optimus performing various tasks, such as watering plants with a water can and lifting crates.
First development of the Tesla robot
Elon Musk says the robot could transform civilization.
Despite its limitations, when it was shown last Friday against competitors, the robot was far ahead of what Tesla was revealing in 2021.
At the time person in a robot costume entered the stage and danced.
“Last year was just a person in a robot suit,” Musk said before introducing Optimus.
“We’ve come a long way. Compared to that, it’s going to be very impressive.”
According to Elon Musk, if the robot were mass-produced, it would “probably” sell for less than $20,000.
Tesla said Optimus has an edge over its competitors.
Its capabilities include autonomous navigation with Tesla’s “Full Self Driving” driver assistance system.
However, Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” feature requires a human to take control in an emergency, as they are unable to fully drive themselves.
The humanoid robot also reduces costs thanks to the knowledge that the automotive sector acquires in production.
Tesla’s price targets
Throughout its history, Tesla has had aggressive price targets that the company often fails to meet.
Originally, the Tesla Model 3 was supposed to cost $35,000.
While potential buyers could purchase the vehicle at the promised price, this was only possible at Tesla stores.
Today, the cheapest Tesla Model 3 costs $46,990. When Tesla introduced the Cybertruck in 2019, the price was initially $39,990.
However, the price has been removed from the website and the truck is still not available for purchase.