CEO Elon Musk said last year that Tesla was preparing to launch a humanoid robot that could replace boring, repetitive factory jobs and potentially even become our significant others.
The humanoid robot prototype is expected to be revealed on September 30 at the company’s AI Day event.
The Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot code-named Optimus that Chief Executive Elon Musk debuted at the first AI Day, is a likely star of the show. Last year, we only saw specifications, a mock-up dummy, and a herky-jerky dance from someone wearing an Optimus outfit in a peculiar attempt to illustrate what the Tesla Bot would look like. Musk delayed the second AI Day to wait for a physical Tesla Bot prototype.
Tesla is hiring Tesla Bot engineers to make not only walking humanoid robots but also wheeled models for factories, according to job ads spotted by Reuters, and Musk explicitly plans splashy events like AI Day to recruit employees.
Musk himself has fretted about how puny we’ll be compared to superintelligent AIs that pose an “existential threat” to humanity, so don’t feel silly if you’re worried about bending the knee before our future robot overlords. However, with Optimus, Tesla is trying to ease our minds, seeing the Tesla Bot as a helpful assistant. It showed an image of robot hands making a heart shape on its Instagram page, promising, “If you can run faster than 5mph, you’ll be fine.”
Sharing the spotlight with the Tesla Bot likely will be a much longer-running project, FSD Beta, Tesla’s technology to move its vehicles toward full self-driving abilities.
According to Tesla’s recent job postings, the company plans to develop and produce thousands of humanoid robots – eventually millions – around the world in the future.
The prototype will be around 1.73 metres tall and the production is expected to start next year.