Tesla finally unveiled its humanoid robot project code-named Optimus at its recent AI day. As many had already speculated, it was not a ground-breaking revelation full of cutting-edge technologies that would revolutionise the world of humanoid robotics. Indeed, we believe that the technical demonstration was akin to leading robotics platforms from around 7-8 years ago. However, it does appear that they have come far in what seems to have been a relatively short period of time.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has recently said that he expected the robotics platform to be worth more than their EV car business one day revealed that they are focusing on human biology inspired hands with opposable thumbs, which would make Optimus useful for most settings. The robot would be powered by a 2.3 kWh battery pack with 500 W of peak power usage when active giving the robot a battery life of just over four hours. They envision that the robot would be able to move up to five miles per hour and, in mass production, would eventually cost around $20,000 or less.
He wants to achieve all these objectives in the next three to five years, which is an aggressive timetable. While many humanoid robotics projects are ongoing in the world today, progress towards the vision of humanoid worker robots remains slow.
In many ways, a multi-role humanoid robot is a much more difficult engineering feat than a level-5 autonomous driving car which Tesla is also trying to work towards.