Tesla plans to unveil ‘Optimus’ humanoid robot in September
Elon Musk’s car company Tesla will unveil its AI humanoid robot called ‘Optimus’ in just three months.
Musk said on Tuesday at the Qatar Economic Forum that a prototype of the robot will be shown at Tesla’s ‘AI Day’ on September 30.
Optimus, first announced last August, will be nearly six feet tall, can run at five miles per hour and deadlift 150 pounds.
It will be designed to handle “dangerous and boring” tasks in a factory and other environments, although it will be “friendly” and make a “very good companion” like a pet.
It must be able to handle a range of tasks – from bolting on cars with a key to picking up groceries at stores.
Previously released renderings suggest it could look a lot like the “NS5” robots in the 2004 American science fiction action film “I, Robot.”
Elon Musk announced the Tesla bot in August, which would be specifically designed to perform “dangerous and boring” tasks in a factory, but the billionaire also envisions the humanoid as a companion.
Pictured: Sonny, the NS5 robot from the 2004 science fiction film ‘I, Robot’, starring Will Smith, who sees intelligent robots perform government functions in a dystopian world
THE OPTIMUS BOT: SPECIFICATIONS
Height: 5ft 8
Load Capacity: 45lbs
Deadlift: 150 pounds
“I hope we will have an interesting prototype to show to people,” Musk told British journalist John Micklethwait from a live link at the forum, which is taking place in Doha.
“We have a very talented team at Tesla that I’m working closely with to have a prototype humanoid robot ready by the end of September.
“And I think we’re following on that.”
The Tesla bot will contain the Autopilot computer used in the company’s electric cars, which will allow the humanoid to recognize real-world objects, although the robot will have its own custom sensors and actuators.
Tesla’s Autopilot cameras are mounted on the front of the bot’s head, and its inner workings are powered by the company’s fully self-driving computer.
Musk, who also owns SpaceX and is the richest person in the world, said “other exciting things” will be revealed on AI Day, without giving further details.
He also talked about job cuts at Tesla, saying the company will “reduce its salaried workforce by about 10 percent over the next three months.”
Tesla first revealed details about Optimus at its AI Day in August last year, along with some digital renderings and specs of what it will look like.
Last August, Musk (pictured) said the bot can handle a range of tasks — from attaching bolts to cars with a key to picking up groceries at stores.
Musk described it as a factory worker, but one that could also be an “incredible buddy like R2D2 or C3PO” for the everyday user in the home.
“It can develop a personality that is unique over time. It’s not like all robots are the same,” the billionaire said in the Lex Fridman podcast in December.
“That personality can evolve into the owner, or whatever you want to call it.”
Musk noted that unlike killer robots, the Tesla bot can be overpowered by the average human.
He has previously said that Optimus could launch in 2022 and tackle global labor shortages.
The Tesla bot will contain the Autopilot computer used in the company’s electric cars, allowing it to recognize human-like things from the real world. But the robot will have its own custom sensors and actuators
Musk has pushed the date of Tesla’s AI Day from August 19 to September 30, to give Optimus more time to get ready
AI Day is an event dedicated to showcasing the artificial intelligence technologies the company is working on.
Musk told Qatar Economic Forum that Tesla is organizing such events to “emphasize that Tesla is much more than a car company.”
“We are the leading real-world AI company in my opinion.”
Musk, in one of his tweets in mayalso said the aim of the AI day is to “convince great AI/software/chip talent to join Tesla.”
Optimus could make an ‘incredible buddy like R2D2 or C3PO’ from Star Wars (pictured) for the everyday user at home
Earlier this month, Musk moved the date of Tesla’s AI Day from August 19 to September 30, to give Optimus more time to get ready.
The Tesla founder has previously warned the world that robots could kill us all in five years — a statement Musk made in 2014.
He has also said that artificial intelligence is the “biggest risk we face as a civilization.”
A TIMELINE OF ELON MUSK’S COMMENTS ON A
Musk is a longstanding and very vocal condemner of AI technology and the precautions people should take
Elon Musk is one of the most prominent names and faces in technology development.
The billionaire entrepreneur leads SpaceX, Tesla and the Boring company.
But while he is at the forefront of creating AI technologies, he is also well aware of its dangers.
Here’s a comprehensive timeline of all of Musk’s premonitions, thoughts, and warnings about AI so far.
August 2014 – ‘We have to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.”
October 2014 – ‘I think we should be very careful with artificial intelligence. If I were to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it probably is. So we have to be very careful with artificial intelligence.’
October 2014 – ‘With artificial intelligence we summon the demon.’
June 2016 – ‘The benign situation with ultra-intelligent AI is that we would be so far below intelligence that we would be a pet or a house cat.’
July 2017 – ‘I think AI is something that is risky at the level of civilization, not just at the individual risk level, and therefore a lot of security research is really needed.’
July 2017 – ‘I’ve been exposed to the very latest AI and I think people should really be concerned about that.’
July 2017 – ‘I keep sounding the alarm, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal.’
August 2017 – ‘If you’re not concerned about AI security, you should be. Much more risky than North Korea.’
Nov 2017 – ‘Maybe there is a five to ten percent chance of success [of making AI safe]†
March 2018 – ‘AI is much more dangerous than nuclear weapons. So why don’t we have regulatory oversight?’
Apr 2018 †[AI is] a very important topic. It’s going to affect our lives in ways we can’t even imagine right now.”
Apr 2018 †[We could create] an immortal dictator we could never escape.”
Nov 2018 – “Maybe AI will let me follow it, laugh like a demon and tell me who the pet is now.”
September 2019 – ‘If advanced AI (beyond the basic bots) hasn’t been applied to manipulate social media, it won’t be long before it is.’
February 2020 – ‘At Tesla, using AI to solve self-driving is not just the icing on the cake, it’s the cake.’
july 2020 – ‘We are moving towards a situation where AI is much smarter than humans and I think that time frame will be less than five years. But that doesn’t mean everything will go to shit in five years. It just means things are getting unstable or weird.”
April 2021: ‘Much of real-world AI needs to be solved to make uncontrolled, generalized fully self-driving work.’
February 2022: ‘We need to solve a large part of AI to make cars drive themselves.’