“Optimus (soon-to-be) Prime:” New Humanoid Robot in the Works!


Tesla CEO Elon Musk just revealed his recent work on the Humanoid Robot, which he calls the robot “Optimus.” So far, it has been able to stroll and do some dances. And within three to five years, it should only cost $20,000. Musk said, “Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible.”

The robot wasn’t as flashy as others, like the Boston Dynamics’ parkour-capable Atlas. Still, it’s what Tesla could put together in less than eight months. Musk wants to build Tesla Bots by the millions, taking advantage of the hardware, software, manufacturing, and supply chain advantages developed for its car business. Take the company’s projections with a shaker full of salt, though. Tesla has succeeded as an automaker, leading the rest of the industry toward an electric vehicle future. Still, it’s missed many deadlines along the way. The Optimus effort, while still early, is among the most ambitious in the robotics world, given how widespread and capable Tesla hopes the robots can become. But progress is hard.

Rivals like Boston Dynamics have worked on humanoid robots for years but only produced prototypes. Robots with more limited abilities are more common, like wheeled delivery bots or Amazon’s Astro, a household camera-equipped tablet on wheels. Artificial intelligence technology works best with narrow jobs. Still, Tesla’s car piloting technology and robots must reckon with immense real-world variety. Optimus will likely lead a sheltered life to start. The company plans to use it first in Tesla’s factories. Many people find Musk robots to be impressive this year. One person said, “I was impressed, too, compared with last year, when Tesla debuted Optimus as a few presentations slides accompanied by a robot-costumed human dancer.”

Musk hopes Optimus will “help millions of people,” freeing humans from tedious, dangerous, repetitive work. In his most starry-eyed moment, he said robots could lead to a future of abundance, where there is no poverty and people can have whatever they want regarding products and services. It is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.