Ten days from now, a working prototype of the Tesla Optimus Bot is expected to take center stage on AI Day which will be held in Palo Alto, California. Although Dojo updates and other Full Self-Driving news are expected to be revealed, the most talked about topic is the Tesla Optimus Bot that was announced during last year’s AI Day event.
Tesla fans, customers, critics, skeptics, and shareholders all have their thoughts about the Optimus Bot and in an interview with Reuters, a few skeptics shared their thoughts. Some included what the robot should do and others touched upon the idea that it wasn’t exciting enough for investors.
Arizona State University professor Nancy Cooke said that Tesla needs to show the robot doing multiple unscripted actions. If Tesla is able to do that, it could boost the stock.
“If he just gets the robot to walk around, or he gets the robots to dance, that’s already been done. That’s not that impressive,” she told Reuters.
Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures said that investors weren’t excited about the bot; adding that the probability that it works at scale is low and that it’s “infinitely harder than self-driving cars.”
Despite that take on Tesla’s robot, Loup Ventures thinks that Tesla’s second AI Day is a win for the company. The odds of seeing a working prototype of the Optimus Bot are low, Loup Ventures said in its post, but it sees Tesla outlining its long-term obstacles related to the robot and the market for it.
Shaun Azimi NASA’s engineering team leader for the Dexterous Robotics Team compared the challenges of self-driving cars with the potential challenges of humanoid robots.
“Self-driving cars weren’t really proved to be as easy as anyone thought. And it’s the same way with humanoid robots to some extent,” he said.
“If something unexpected happens, being flexible and robust to those kinds of changes is very difficult.”
Elon Musk recently penned an essay published in the China Cyberspace magazine that covered a variety of topics including the Tesla robot. In the essay, Elon Musk said that the Optimus Bot is designed to replace human labor in repetitive, boring, and dangerous tasks.
“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,” Elon Musk wrote.
Some examples of repetitive tasks that might win over some skeptics may include displaying the dexterity of the robot’s hands. For example, sewing a stitch in fabric, painting a small and a large object, writing on a notepad, or even wrapping a sprained ankle with an ACE bandage.
Perhaps opening AI Day with the robot driving the Tesla Cybertruck on stage with Elon in the passenger seat would be entertaining.
Are you a skeptic of Tesla’s Optimus Bot? If so, what do you think the prototype should be able to do to win you over? Do you think Tesla will be able to unveil a working prototype that does more than walking or giving someone a flower as the Xiaomi CyberOne did last month? Let us know in the comments.
Note: Johnna is a Tesla shareholder and supports its mission.
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