Elon Musk explains rationale behind Optimus (Tesla Bot) design

(Credit: Tesla)

Elon Musk has been pretty open with the idea that Optimus (Tesla Bot) will be Tesla’s next big product. Built on the company’s work in artificial intelligence and the milestones of the Autopilot program, Optimus could very well be a disruptor in the labor market. In a recent essay, Musk shared some insights about the upcoming humanoid, particularly his thoughts about the Tesla Bot design.

Musk’s essay, which was published in the China Cyberspace magazine, covered a number of topics, from renewables to Neuralink to SpaceX and the real-world uses of Optimus. Musk reiterated his previous comments in his essay, noting that the Tesla Bot is designed to replace human labor in repetitive, boring, and dangerous tasks. Beyond this, however, Musk noted that the vision for Optimus is to have the robots serving millions of households globally.

“Tesla Bots are initially positioned to replace people in repetitive, boring, and dangerous tasks. But the vision is for them to serve millions of households, such as cooking, mowing lawns, and caring for the elderly,” Musk wrote.

Interestingly enough, Musk noted that the Tesla Bot design is the way it is because humans generally are used to interacting with humanoid forms. Since the Tesla Bot is intended to be integrated into human society, it makes sense for the robot to also have human attributes.

“The Tesla Bot is close to the height and weight of an adult, can carry or pick up heavy objects, walk fast in small steps, and the screen on its face is an interactive interface for communication with people. You may wonder why we designed this robot with legs. Because human society is based on the interaction of a bipedal humanoid with two arms and ten fingers. So if we want a robot to adapt to its environment and be able to do what humans do, it has to be roughly the same size, shape, and capabilities as a human,” Musk explained.

A prototype of the humanoid robot is expected to be unveiled next month during AI Day 2. According to Musk in his essay, Tesla’s focus for now would be on improving the intelligence of Optimus, as well as solving the problem of the robot’s large-scale production. This may seem like a steep hill to climb, but it should be noted that Tesla has faced similar challenges in the past, particularly with the Model 3 ramp. Musk noted, however, that as production of the Tesla Bot scales up, its costs will fall, making it more attainable for consumers.

“In the future, a home robot may be cheaper than a car. Perhaps in less than a decade, people will be able to buy a robot for their parents as a birthday gift,” Musk wrote.

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Elon Musk explains rationale behind Optimus (Tesla Bot) design
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