Elon Musk has recently shared his plans to release a Tesla Bot that is humanoid. It will be based on Tesla’s advanced driving system, Autopilot, and will not be frightening in the least (but that’s just according to Musk himself, and I am not sure he’s a great judge of it).
The Tesla Bot
The CEO of Tesla wrapped up an invitation-only AI Day event in Palo Alto, California with his surprising announcement of the Tesla humanoid robot. According to him, it will be built on Tesla’s Autopilot system and will resemble a humanoid car. Electric vehicles, according to Musk, are “totally conscious robots on wheels.” So, why not make it a human-like bot?
With two arms, two hands with five fingers, and two legs, the bot resembles a person. It will have a height of 5 feet 8 inches and a weight of 125 pounds. It can only run 5 miles per hour, which Musk assured was slow enough for most people to escape if something goes wrong: “If you can run faster than that it’ll be fine.” Let’s not even get into why one would need to run away from it.
The thing that made everyone’s interest peak in this humanoid bot is the fact that Musk stated that it will be friendly and do risky, repetitive, and boring duties as it “navigates a world made for humans.” Musk reiterated that the humanoid would have a screen on its head and eight cameras, similar to Tesla’s Autopilot-enabled cars: “It’s all the same tools we see in the car,” but instead they will be applied to something that looks like a human being.
What will it do?
In terms of what the bot will do, Musk wants to start with tasks that humans don’t want to do. He gave examples from the factory: such as removing a bolt and attaching it to a car, and from the real world: such as shopping for groceries. Some aspects also go as far as having the bot be smart enough that everyone is capable to talk to it, and have it be able to figure out what to do on its own — whether it’s carrying a bag, working with a tool, or even walking towards a specific direction. While the Tesla Bot 1.0 will be focused on assisting with general duties, Musk hasn’t ruled out the possibility that the robot could evolve into something more in the future. He did mention at some point that the humanoid bot “may be your buddy” and could ultimately be your friend.
Tesla wants to make sure the bot isn’t “very costly,” but Musk didn’t specify a pricing range for the device. I guess we all have to wait for the prototype to be released next year.
In Tesla-related news, read more on how Tesla’s self-driving car drove itself from SF to LA.
Photo via Tesla