Elon Musk Just Debuted Tesla’s First Humanoid Robot: ‘A Fundamental Transformation for Civilization As We Know It.’
A prototype of Tesla’s humanoid robot named “Optimus” took the stage tonight for the first time as part of Tesla’s 2022 AI Day presentation.
With techno music blaring and disco lights flashing, Optimus strolled, albeit carefully, towards the audience and lifted its arms in what appeared to be a “raise the roof” gesture.
Dressed in a futuristic black leather jacket and black pants, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk revealed that “this is literally the first time the robot has operated without a tether.”
Musk then explained that the robot could do much more than walk around the stage and wave.
“We just didn’t want it to fall on its face,” he joked.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2022
A video revealed the robot lifting boxes, watering plants, and doing odd jobs around Tesla’s Fremont factory.
Musk then introduced another version of Optimus, which is further along in the development stage and closer to the model that will go to market. Although this bot wasn’t ready to walk yet, it has actuators, a battery pack, and a control system taken from Tesla’s cars.
Musk said this robot will be able to move all its fingers independently and have opposable thumbs, allowing it to hold and operate tools.
“Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” Musk said.
Like the Tesla cars, he hopes to make them at high volume and low cost. Musk said this is what will ultimately differentiate his humanoid robots from competitors.
He predicted making the Optimus in “millions of units” at a cost of “less than $20,000.”
“It’ll be a fundamental transformation for civilization as we know it,” Musk said.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.