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Optimus takes its first untethered steps during Tesla’s AI Day last Friday

Tesla's AI Day introduces Optimus, the company's first humanoid robot
Tesla's AI Day introduces Optimus, the company's first humanoid robot

Image source: La Ronge Northerner

On Friday, Tesla unveiled the company’s future product: a humanoid robot prototype that can walk.

The unveiling took place during Tesla’s second annual artificial intelligence day in Palo Alto, California.

During the six-hour event, Elon Musk and the company shared updates on his artificial intelligence, “Full Self-Driving,” the Tesla supercomputer “Dojo,” and a humanoid robot.

The robot

Given the name Tesla’s Optimus, the robot walked stiffly across the stage during the event.

Optimus met the crowd, slowly greeted the crowd, and waved his hands for over a minute.

According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, that night was the first time Optimus had operated without a chain.

Robotics developers use chains to support robots, especially since in the early stages they are unable to walk without falling and injuring themselves.

Read also: Window malfunctions: Tesla’s latest reason for recalling vehicles

Comparing Optimus with other robots

Despite the impressive display, Optimus’ abilities show that he is still within walking distance of what robots can do at Huwandai-owned Boston Dynamics.

Boston Dynamics has developed robots that can move without a chain.

In addition to Boston Dynamics, Honda has been developing robots called “Asimo” for nearly two decades.

In its final form, Asimo was a human robot the size of a child.

Asimo is capable of doing things untethered, from walking, running, climbing, going down a flight of stairs, and working on objects.

Video clips have shown that they can do backflips and even perform complex dance routines.

However, Musk says that Optimus can do much more.

“The robot can actually do a lot more than we just showed you,” he said.

“We just didn’t want it to fall on its face.”

Tesla showed videos of Optimus performing various tasks, such as watering plants with a water canister and lifting crates.

Early Tesla robot development

Elon Musk says the robot could transform civilization.

Despite its limitations, when shown last Friday against competitors, the robot was well ahead of what Tesla was revealing in 2021.

At this time, a person in a robot costume entered the stage and danced.

“Last year was just a person in a robot suit,” Musk said before introducing Optimus.

“We’ve come a long way. Compared to that, it’s going to be very impressive.”

Read also: Electric car makers Tesla face new lawsuit for alleged false advertisement on Autopilot

Mass production

According to Elon Musk, if the robot were mass-produced, it would “probably” sell for less than $20,000.

Tesla said Optimus has an edge over its competitors.

Its capabilities include autonomous navigation with Tesla’s “Full Self Driving” driver assistance system.

However, Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” feature requires a human to take control in an emergency, as they are unable to fully drive themselves.

The humanoid robot also reduces costs thanks to the knowledge acquired by the automotive division in production.

Tesla’s price targets

During its operations, Tesla has a history of aggressive pricing targets that the company often fails to meet.

Initially, the Tesla Model 3 was supposed to cost $35,000.

While potential buyers could buy the vehicle at the promised price, they could only do so in Tesla stores.

Today, the most affordable Tesla Model 3 costs $46,990.

In 2019, when Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck, the price was initially $39,990.

However, the price has been removed from the website and the truck is still not available for purchase.


Tesla robot slowly walks on stage at AI Day

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