Elon Musk shows off humanoid robot prototype at Tesla AI Day

Tesla demonstrates an early prototype of the Optimus humanoid robot at its AI Day 2022 on Sept. 30


Tesla CEO Elon Musk and different leaders from the automaker’s AI and {hardware} groups spoke at the corporate’s 2022 AI Day, an engineer-recruiting occasion in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday evening.

During the final AI Day in August 2021, Musk mentioned Tesla was constructing a humanoid robot, often called the Tesla Bot or Optimus. The firm did not have a lot as a prototype to indicate at that point, and as a substitute introduced an dancer, wearing a Tesla Bot spandex unitard on stage.

This yr, Musk and Tesla workers who joined him on stage confirmed off a bipedal humanoid robot, which they mentioned was solely a “rough development robot,” strolling and waving its palms within the air. They mentioned the robot was strolling round for the primary time with none mechanical helps on stage in Palo Alto.

To heat up the viewers, which included Tesla-focused social media influencers, Musk mentioned, We’re going to talk about the advancements in AI for Full Self-Driving, as well as how they apply more generally to real world AI problems like a humanoid robot and even going beyond that. I think there’s some potential that what we’re doing here at Tesla could make a meaningful contribution to AGI [artificial general intelligence].”

He continued, “And I think actually Tesla’s a good entity to do it, from a governance standpoint, because we’re a publicly-traded company with one class of stock. That means that the public controls Tesla, and I think that’s actually a good thing. So if I go crazy, you can fire me — this is important. Maybe I’m not crazy.”

Elon Musk beforehand co-founded (and later stop) a man-made intelligence enterprise referred to as OpenAI. In 2015, OpenAI boasted that it had educated neural networks to allow a robot-hand resembling a human hand to resolve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle.

Back when Musk initially floated the Tesla Bot idea at AI Day 2021, he mentioned, “It should be able to, ‘please go to the store and get me the following groceries,’ that kind of thing.” Later, Musk mentioned robots made by Tesla may in the future be price greater than its vehicles, and that hundreds of them can be put to work in Tesla factories, the place people construct vehicles and batteries.

During Friday’s presentation, Tesla workers confirmed off how the humanoid robot they’re creating may operate sooner or later, together with with Tesla-designed actuators, that are just like the muscle of the robot, and adaptive robotic palms that may enable the robot to understand and manipulate a variety of objects.

Milan Kovac, who’s Director of Engineering for Autopilot at Tesla in accordance with his LinkedIn profile, mentioned that the corporate’s experiences creating driver help programs for Tesla autos, particularly pc imaginative and prescient programs, have been serving to the corporate work out the right way to make a humanoid robot work in the true world.

While robotics specialists have mentioned that Tesla doesn’t require a bipedal robot in an effort to put higher automation to work in its factories, Tesla workers spoke at size on Friday about their dedication to the human type. Employees additionally mentioned they have been engaged on a particular battery and actuators for his or her robots to maintain energy consumption to a minimal so their robot may work for a full day on a single cost.

Tesla Autopilot workers additionally spoke extensively about their quest to make Tesla vehicles autonomous with out including any new {hardware} to them.

In its previous, the corporate’s Autopilot workforce relied on guide knowledge annotation to establish and describe objects in brief video clips that have been captured by cameras and sensors on Tesla autos. Data labelers would establish issues like street boundaries, lane markings or overlapping objects reminiscent of a pedestrian obstructing the total view of a cease signal.

The labeled clips serve to coach Tesla’s neural networks, and enhance driver help programs that allow their vehicles to navigate round, routinely avoiding obstacles, with driver oversight.

Now, Tesla says they’ve developed auto-labeling expertise which permits the corporate to chew by half 1,000,000 clips every day. In the tip, a human is available in to “finalize” labels however they’ve a lift from the auto-labeling system.

The presenters additionally mentioned, in nice element, what number of enhancements they have been making to Tesla-designed chips and knowledge infrastructure. They didn’t say when a self-driving automotive that is secure to make use of with no human driver behind the wheel in regular site visitors can be out there to paying clients.

Tesla shows off a prototype of its humanoid robot at 2022 AI Day on Sept. 30.


Musk defined that Tesla was holding this AI Day occasion, and displaying off its robot prototype, “to convince some of the most talented people in the world like you guys, to join Tesla and help make it a reality.”

The CEO thinks the humanoid robot “can help millions of people,” he mentioned, as a result of if it really works, the world could have what he referred to as “a future of abundance, a future where there is no poverty, where people you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services.”

In his signature grandiose method, Musk mentioned, “It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.”

After the CEO had left the stage however whereas the AI Day presentation was nonetheless underway, Musk wrote to his 107.4 million followers on Twitter, “Naturally, there will be a catgirl version of our Optimus robot.”

During a question-and-answer session, Musk admitted that creating a humanoid robot was not exactly in step with Tesla’s mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable vitality. He mentioned Optimus expands the Tesla mission to “making the future awesome.”

He mentioned he thinks in 3 to five years, clients will have the ability to purchase an Optimus.

An attendee requested Musk if he envisioned Tesla promoting its Dojo tremendous pc, which it makes use of for AI machine studying, to different firms. Musk mentioned he thinks it makes extra sense to supply a Dojo service, one thing like AWS, which he described as a “service that you can use that’s available online where you can train your models way faster and for less money.”

Big guarantees

When Musk makes large guarantees, skeptics scoff and his loyal followers swoon.

The movie star CEO has been promising self-driving electrical autos since 2016, and has raised billions in capital for Tesla by promising shareholders that Tesla’s autonomous car tech would allow clients to show their vehicles into working robotaxis with only a software program replace.

While Musk mentioned a coast-to-coast driverless demo would occur by the tip of 2017, to at the present time Tesla has solely launched driver help programs that must be always supervised by a human driver.

Tesla’s driver help programs, that are marketed as Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, FSD (brief for Full Self-Driving functionality) and FSD Beta within the US, have drawn federal and state stage security probes, and allegations of false promoting together with by the California DMV and plenty of its personal clients.

Tesla additionally has a rocky file with automation in its factories. In 2018, after making an attempt to automate varied elements of auto manufacturing and high quality assurance, Musk admitted “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” and “humans are underrated.”

Tesla is predicted to publish its third-quarter car manufacturing and deliveries report inside days of the recruiting occasion. Deliveries are the closest approximation for gross sales disclosed by Tesla and the quarterly supply studies are carefully watched by shareholders.


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