By Efe Udin
According to reports, Tesla will display its Optimus humanoid robot at the “Artificial Intelligence Day” event at the end of this month. The company also has advanced plans to deploy it on a large scale in its Texas factory. If the company deploys the Tesla Optimus, then many some workers will lose their jobs. However, industry experts have some reservations. They believe that humanoid robots could be more sophisticated than self-driving cars. Four years ago, Tesla’s car factory fell into “production hell,” which Musk blamed at the time on an “overreliance on robots,” saying humans were better at certain jobs. However, the times are changing.
The latest job postings show that Tesla’s Texas factory is making ambitious plans to deploy thousands of “Tesla Bot” (or “Optimus”) humanoid robots in the factory. Eventually, millions of Tesla Optimus robots will be deployed around the world. Inside the company, the mood for deploying the Tesla Optimus robots has developed. The company is also discussing the robots in an increasing number of internal meetings, an insider claims.
In the long term, Musk said, robots could also be used in homes, cooking, mowing lawns and caring for older people. In fact, Musk believes that Tesla Optimus could even become human companions. Ultimately, Musk expects, the robotics business to be bigger than Tesla’s car revenue. On September 30 this year on “AI Day” (Artificial Intelligence Day), Tesla will show a prototype of its humanoid robot, Optimus. Today, Musk confirmed this on Twitter, saying that Tesla’s artificial intelligence team is working on a humanoid robot called Optimus, which could begin production next year.
Experts claims Tesla Optimus will face some hurdles
According to roboticists, investors, industry experts and analysts, Tesla Optimus will have to answer some questions. The company will have to answer whether it can demonstrate enough technological progress to justify the use of the “universal” robot in factories, homes and elsewhere. This will happen before Tesla deploy hundreds of robots in its factories to perform specific production tasks.
In fact, companies such as Honda Motor and Hyundai Motor (a division of Boston Dynamics) have been developing “humanoid robots” for decades. But like self-driving cars, robots run into trouble in unpredictable situations.
“It turns out that self-driving cars are not as easy as anyone thought,” Shaun Azimi, head of NASA’s Dexterous Robotics Team, told the media. To a certain extent, the same is true of humanoid robots. It is very difficult to be flexible and robust to these changes in the event of an unexpected situation.”
During his “Autonomy Day” event in 2019, Musk promised to have 1 million robotaxis on the road by 2020. But to date, Tesla has yet to deliver such a car.
Musk will showcase basic capacities at best
Experts say Musk’s robots may be able to demonstrate basic capabilities at the “AI Day” event. However, they believe that the company will struggle to live up to expectations. To succeed, Tesla needs to demonstrate that the robot can do a variety of unscripted actions, said Nancy Cooke, a professor of human systems engineering at Arizona State University. Such evidence could boost Tesla shares. Currently, Tesla shares are down 25% from their 2021 peak.
“If you just let the robot walk around, or make the robot do a dance, that’s already done,” Cooke said. “It’s not going to impress people.”
Tesla has yet to comment on this. But in the past, Musk has proven skeptics wrong. Musk has previously admitted that humanoid robots are not intelligent enough to “tack” in the real world without explicit instructions. However, he claims Tesla could use its expertise in artificial intelligence and key components to develop and produce smart, low-cost humanoid robots at scale.
And Gene Munster, managing partner of Loup Ventures, a venture capital firm that owns Tesla stock, said: “Investors are not excited about Tesla Optimus. Much harder than self-driving cars.”
Tesla is working on the humanoid robot Optimus Prime
Back in June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the second Tesla AI Day (Artificial Intelligence Day) event was postponed to September 30. Of course, the company is putting finishing touches to its humanoid robot Optimus. Elon Musk also reveals that all cars in the United States and Canada with a safety score of more than 80 will receive an invitation to download FSD Beta 10.69.2.2 by tomorrow. In addition, in response to comments from netizens, Musk said that Tesla’s autopilot/artificial intelligence team is working on the humanoid robot Optimus and the summoning/autonomous parking function, and the deadlines are all at the end of this month.
This further confirms that Tesla will be showing an Optimus prototype at the second Tesla AI Day event. Musk has previously revealed that the humanoid robot Optimus Prime will operate using the eight cameras used by its self-driving system, and will also have a screen on its head in order to interact with humans. He also said that if the humanoid robot Optimus Prime can be mass-produced in the next two years, under the scale effect, its cost is lower than that of a car, and the price may be $25,000.
According to reports, at the Tesla shareholder meeting held on August 4, local time, Musk said that in the long run, Optimus Prime robots will be more valuable than cars and will completely change the economy. Musk has previously said that Optimus Prime can basically do anything humans don’t want to do, such as perform some dangerous, repetitive or boring work.