expect humanoid robot Optimus demo

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and leaders from the corporate’s AI and {hardware} groups are anticipated to talk on the firm’s AI Day 2022, an engineer-recruiting occasion, which shall be live-streamed on Friday beginning round 5:00 p.m. in California. You can watch AI Day 2022 right here.

During the final AI Day in August 2021, Musk stated Tesla was going to construct a humanoid robot, which is known as both the Tesla Bot or Optimus right this moment.

“It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate through a world of humans, and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks,” Musk stated on the time.

Tesla did not have a {hardware} prototype to point out final yr and made the 2021 announcement with an actor wearing a Tesla Bot physique swimsuit dancing on stage. The stunt drew sneers from critics and cheers from followers.

This yr, traders expect an actual tech demonstration of the robot, together with updates on Tesla’s progress growing self-driving know-how that may flip the corporate’s current electrical automobiles into robotaxis.

Musk has been promising a really self-driving Tesla since 2016 when he stated a coast-to-coast demo would occur by the tip of 2017. To-date the corporate has solely launched driver help techniques that must be always supervised by a human driver who stays attentive to the highway and their automobile, able to take over at any time.

When Musk initially floated the humanoid robot idea at AI Day 2021, Musk stated of Optimus, “It should be able to, ‘please go to the store and get me the following groceries,’ that kind of thing.”

Later, Musk stated that robots made by Tesla will at some point be price greater than its automobiles, and that hundreds of them could be put to work shifting components across the factories, the place people construct automobiles and batteries.

During Tesla’s 2021 fourth-quarter earnings name, Musk remarked: “If you think about the economy– the foundation of the economy is labor. Capital equipment is distilled labor. So what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about, so very important.” 

Tesla has a blended report with automation.

As Bernstein senior analysis analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a September 30 word forward of AI Day 2022, In 2018 Tesla “had mistakenly tried to hyper-automate its final assembly (i.e. putting parts into cars).” The end result was that Musk quickly admitted “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” and “humans are underrated.”

Tesla introduced extra folks again to its manufacturing and meeting strains after that, however Sacconaghi writes that right this moment Tesla is over-automating its customer support. Tesla homeowners typically discover it tough to get in contact with particular person gross sales and repair reps at Tesla, and are steered to conduct all potential decision of complaints by way of Tesla’s cellular app.

An extended-time robotics engineer, Alexander Kernbaum, who now serves as interim director of robotics on the vaunted analysis and improvement non-profit SRI International, says whether or not Tesla impresses with its robotics replace at AI Day or not, the corporate has the sources to develop one thing significant and has impressed new curiosity within the area.

However, Kernbaum notes, in the case of making a robot that may make a distinction in an automobile meeting plant, there’s actually no want for Tesla to develop a bi-pedal robot. “Mobile robots will find uses,” he explains, “But mobility should be as simple as possible for a factory environment meaning wheels would be the way to go, not legs.”

Robotic legs require quite a lot of energy, for one factor, which might put pressure on any battery Tesla develops for its robotics. Additionally, legged robots — like folks — can journey and fall. Wheeled robots wouldn’t be as prone to tip over. The security concern ought to be tantamount in a manufacturing unit, Kernbaum suggests.

Kernbaum believes Tesla could be best-served to deal with robotic fingers. He stated, “Hands are like the ultimate multi-tool. Dexterity and in-hand object manipulation are the grand 10-year challenges that will have an obvious impact on all precision manufacturing and on everything really.”

AI Day 2022 would be the firm’s first main occasion since former AI chief of Tesla Andrej Karpathy resigned. AI Day precedes Tesla’s third-quarter automobile manufacturing and deliveries report which is anticipated inside days.

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