Elon Musk is once again promising an unveiling of Optimus, or Tesla Bot, a human-like bipedal robot who will be able to do all kinds of jobs. Or, as Tesla.com puts it, “a general purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring. ”
Tesla Bot has been in the works for quite a while. A little more than a year ago, Musk presented a dancer in a unitard as a stand-in for the Tesla Bot. The Verge called it a joke. In what probably really was a joke, Musk nearly promised robot catgirls by now.
September 30 launch date
Musk claims that he will unveil a working prototype of Optimus on September 30. He then expects to have the humanoid robots in mass production within a decade. The goal is to deploy millions of Telaa Bots around the world, not only in factories but also in homes, where they will mow lawns, take care of the elderly, and serve as companions to their human owners.
It would not be impossible to have a robot, or at least a clockwork doll that looks like a robot, ready in time. But, like Atlas, the Boston Dynamics robot that can be made to look (in videos) as though it can dance, Optimus is not likely to be able to do multiple tasks. It almost certainly can’t fold laundry.
Musk’s track record with robots
Elon Musk is the founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, co-founder of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity. He is also the founder of The Boring Company, a tunnel construction company. Musk has said that the goal of SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity is to reduce global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and that the long-term goal of SpaceX is to make it possible for people to become multi-planetary by establishing a human colony on Mars.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Musk said that he wants to create a robot colony on Mars, with each robot having its own “brain” in the form of a digital computer. He envisions these robots working together to build a colony on Mars for humans to inhabit.
In 2018, Musk said in an interview that he had relied too much on robots and automation action in his auto factories. Now he seems to be in favor of more robots in factories and everywhere else.
We will watch with interest.