Elon Musk shows off humanoid robot prototype at Tesla AI Day

Tesla demonstrates an early prototype of the Optimus humanoid robot at its AI Day 2022 on Sept. 30


Tesla CEO Elon Musk and different leaders from the automaker’s AI and {hardware} groups spoke at the corporate’s 2022 AI Day, an engineer-recruiting occasion in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday evening.

During the final AI Day in August 2021, Musk stated Tesla was constructing a humanoid robot, referred to as the Tesla Bot or Optimus. The firm did not have a lot as a prototype to indicate at that point, and as a substitute offered an dancer, wearing a Tesla Bot spandex unitard on stage.

This yr, Musk and Tesla workers who joined him on stage confirmed off a bipedal humanoid robot, which they stated was solely a “rough development robot,” strolling and waving its palms within the air. They stated the robot was strolling round for the primary time with none mechanical helps on stage in Palo Alto.

To heat up the viewers, which included Tesla-focused social media influencers, Musk stated, We’re going to talk about the advancements in AI for Full Self-Driving, as well as how they apply more generally to real world AI problems like a humanoid robot and even going beyond that. I think there’s some potential that what we’re doing here at Tesla could make a meaningful contribution to AGI [artificial general intelligence].”

He continued, “And I think actually Tesla’s a good entity to do it, from a governance standpoint, because we’re a publicly-traded company with one class of stock. That means that the public controls Tesla, and I think that’s actually a good thing. So if I go crazy, you can fire me — this is important. Maybe I’m not crazy.”

Elon Musk beforehand co-founded (and later give up) a synthetic intelligence enterprise referred to as OpenAI. In 2015, OpenAI boasted that it had skilled neural networks to allow a robot-hand resembling a human hand to unravel a Rubik’s Cube puzzle.

Back when Musk initially floated the Tesla Bot idea at AI Day 2021, he stated, “It should be able to, ‘please go to the store and get me the following groceries,’ that kind of thing.” Later, Musk stated robots made by Tesla might sooner or later be price greater than its vehicles, and that hundreds of them can be put to work in Tesla factories, the place people construct vehicles and batteries.

During Friday’s presentation, Tesla workers confirmed off how the humanoid robot they’re creating would possibly perform sooner or later, together with with Tesla-designed actuators, that are just like the muscle of the robot, and adaptive robotic palms that can permit the robot to know and manipulate a variety of objects.

Milan Kovac, who’s Director of Engineering for Autopilot at Tesla in keeping with his LinkedIn profile, stated that the corporate’s experiences creating driver help programs for Tesla autos, particularly pc imaginative and prescient programs, have been serving to the corporate determine make a humanoid robot work in the true world.

While robotics consultants have stated that Tesla doesn’t require a bipedal robot so as to put higher automation to work in its factories, Tesla workers spoke at size on Friday about their dedication to the human kind. Employees additionally stated they have been engaged on a particular battery and actuators for his or her robots to maintain energy consumption to a minimal so their robot might work for a full day on a single cost.

Tesla Autopilot workers additionally spoke extensively about their quest to make Tesla vehicles autonomous with out including any new {hardware} to them.

In its previous, the corporate’s Autopilot crew relied on handbook knowledge annotation to establish and describe objects briefly video clips that have been captured by cameras and sensors on Tesla autos. Data labelers would establish issues like street boundaries, lane markings or overlapping objects comparable to a pedestrian obstructing the complete view of a cease signal.

The labeled clips serve to coach Tesla’s neural networks, and enhance driver help programs that allow their vehicles to navigate round, routinely avoiding obstacles, with driver oversight.

Now, Tesla says they’ve developed auto-labeling technology which permits the corporate to chew by way of half one million clips every day. In the top, a human is available in to “finalize” labels however they’ve a lift from the auto-labeling system.

The presenters additionally mentioned, in nice element, what number of enhancements they have been making to Tesla-designed chips and knowledge infrastructure. They didn’t say when a self-driving automobile that is protected to make use of and not using a human driver behind the wheel in regular site visitors can be obtainable to paying prospects.

Tesla shows off a prototype of its humanoid robot at 2022 AI Day on Sept. 30.


Musk defined that Tesla was holding this AI Day occasion, and displaying off its robot prototype, “to convince some of the most talented people in the world like you guys, to join Tesla and help make it a reality.”

The CEO thinks the humanoid robot “can help millions of people,” he stated, as a result of if it really works, the world could have what he referred to as “a future of abundance, a future where there is no poverty, where people you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services.”

In his signature grandiose method, Musk stated, “It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.”

After the CEO had left the stage however whereas the AI Day presentation was nonetheless underway, Musk wrote to his 107.4 million followers on Twitter, “Naturally, there will be a catgirl version of our Optimus robot.”

During a question-and-answer session, Musk admitted that creating a humanoid robot was not exactly in step with Tesla’s mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable power. He stated Optimus expands the Tesla mission to “making the future awesome.”

He stated he thinks in 3 to five years, prospects will be capable to purchase an Optimus.

An attendee requested Musk if he envisioned Tesla promoting its Dojo tremendous pc, which it makes use of for AI machine studying, to different firms. Musk stated he thinks it makes extra sense to supply a Dojo service, one thing like AWS, which he described as a “service that you can use that’s available online where you can train your models way faster and for less money.”

Big guarantees

When Musk makes huge guarantees, skeptics scoff and his loyal followers swoon.

The superstar CEO has been promising self-driving electrical autos since 2016, and has raised billions in capital for Tesla by promising shareholders that Tesla’s autonomous automobile tech would allow prospects to show their vehicles into working robotaxis with only a software program replace.

While Musk stated a coast-to-coast driverless demo would occur by the top of 2017, to today Tesla has solely launched driver help programs that should be always supervised by a human driver.

Tesla’s driver help programs, that are marketed as Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, FSD (brief for Full Self-Driving functionality) and FSD Beta within the US, have drawn federal and state degree security probes, and allegations of false promoting together with by the California DMV and numerous its personal prospects.

Tesla additionally has a rocky document with automation in its factories. In 2018, after making an attempt to automate varied points of auto manufacturing and high quality assurance, Musk admitted “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” and “humans are underrated.”

Tesla is anticipated to submit its third-quarter automobile manufacturing and deliveries report inside days of the recruiting occasion. Deliveries are the closest approximation for gross sales disclosed by Tesla and the quarterly supply stories are intently watched by shareholders.

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