Home Technology Elon Musk’s Tesla Optimus Robot Actually Works

Elon Musk’s Tesla Optimus Robot Actually Works

by George Mensah

When Elon Musk announced his intention to build a humanoid robot, there was a lot of skepticism. His announcement last year was accompanied by a person dancing in a stretchy suit, which didn’t help his credibility. Today, however, at Tesla AI Day 2022, Musk and his team had the opportunity to demonstrate Tesla Optimus so far.

Given how far Musk and company have come, the outcome was unexpected. The outspoken CEO attempted to set reasonable expectations for the unveiling, stating that it would be an improvement over the dancer.

The result is the Tesla Optimus Development Platform, which reportedly took six months to complete. It can walk without the use of cables or wires, which is a significant achievement. “Onstage tonight, this is literally the first time the robot has operated without a tether,” Musk admitted. It could also wave and walk in a somewhat stilted manner.

The Optimus prototype is surprisingly capable

What’s going on inside is arguably more interesting. Optimus employs the same self-driving computer that Tesla’s Autopilot relies on. It also trains itself using the same methods as Autopilot on the road. Musk claims that the development platform makes use of “semi-off-the-shelf actuators.” The 2.3 kWh battery is located in the center of the robot’s torso. According to Tesla, that should be enough for a full day’s work.

Musk claims that the goal is to create a robot that can free a human workforce. He predicts that replacing human workers with Optimus will result in “a two order of magnitude potential improvement in economic output.”


In terms of whether that is something that people want in the long run, Musk pointed out that because Tesla is a publicly traded company, it will be up to shareholders to decide. “The public controls Tesla, which I believe is a good thing,” the CEO said. “Because you can fire me if I go insane.”

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