Tesla unveils its humanoid robot for ‘under $20,000’

Tesla unveiled its Optimus humanoid robot today on AI Day 2022 and Elon Musk believes Tesla can bring it to market for “less than $20,000”.

As expected, the event kicked off with Tesla unveiling a working prototype of its humanoid robot — first announced at Tesla’s AI Day in 2021.

Two prototypes were unveiled at the event.

Tesla began by releasing the Pumpil C, the first version of the bot and built with “semi-off-the-shelf” actuators. It served as a test bed for Tesla’s first robot, built with in-house components.

Here’s a picture of Bumble C walking the stage at the event:

It didn’t do anything interesting on stage, but it did manage to walk around and rock the crowd.

Tesla showed some videos of the robot performing certain tasks in a controlled environment.

The automaker showed the robot performing a task at a real workstation at its Fremont factory.

But after the Bumble Chi, Tesla brought the first-generation Optimus robot to the stage.

The reason Tesla didn’t lead it and showed an earlier and harder prototype was because it couldn’t really make the new one happen yet.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the new robot could be walking within the next few weeks, but he wanted to show it off today because it looks so much like the version of the robot that will go into production:

It couldn’t do much on stage except wave at the crowd and had to be carried by Tesla employees.

Musk noted that this version is equipped with Tesla-designed actuators, battery pack and power electronics.

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Tesla revealed that the first prototype was due in February 2022, leading to this new version, which is now set to happen in the next few days.

Tesla shared some of the Optimus’ specs, including a 2.3 kWh battery pack that the automaker says should be good for a day’s worth of work.

As Tesla announced last year, the same “self-driving computer” is installed inside Tesla vehicles:

After a presentation about the bot’s specifications and key features, Tesla transitioned into a more in-depth presentation about the robotic and AI approach to building it.

Again, Tesla’s AI Day is about recruiting and showing what Tesla is doing to help attract talent interested in those details.

On a consumer level, Musk emphasized that while people have seen plenty of humanoid robots before, Tesla’s effort is different because it focuses on creating a robot that can be mass-produced. I have seen it in the past.

And Tesla’s advantage, Musk said, is that its bot will be powered by its AI, which is primarily built for self-driving technology. He hopes Tesla can use this work to move the robot into the real world and perform useful tasks.

The CEO reiterated earlier ideas about how Optimus could bring about a “fundamental change in civilization” by “ending poverty” by improving economic productivity when used in industry.

He believes the robot will cost “$20,000” to build. He didn’t update the timeline for production, but he previously said Tesla plans to bring it into production as soon as next year.


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