Tesla Optimus to receive hands with 22 degrees of freedom later this year

Credit: Tesla Optimus/X

Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot seems poised to receive a significant upgrade later this year. As per a recent comment from CEO Elon Musk, Optimus’ hands will be upgraded to have 22 degrees of freedom (DoF). That’s already very close to a human’s hands, which have 27 degrees of freedom

Tesla released a new video of Optimus in the company’s facilities this weekend. The video featured the humanoid robot performing several tasks in a factory setting, including those that require precise tasks. In a comment about the Optimus video, NVIDIA Sr. Research Manager & Lead of Embodied AI (GEAR Lab) Jim Fan noted that Optimus’ hands are among the best in the industry.

“Optimus hands are among the best 5-finger, dexterous robot hands in the world. It’s got tactile sensing, 11 degrees of freedom (DOF) compared to many competitors with only 6-7 DOF, and robustness to withstand lots of object interactions without constant maintenance,” Fan wrote in a post on X. 

Fan was quite impressed by the Optimus update video from Tesla overall, stating that the humanoid robot’s data collection farm is probably its biggest lead. 

In a response to the NVIDIA Sr. Research Manager, Musk noted that Optimus’ hands will only get better. The CEO then noted that an update to the Tesla humanoid robot’s hands should be rolled out later this year. “The new Optimus hand later this year will have 22 DoF,” Musk wrote in a response on X. 

A humanoid robot with hands that have 22 degrees of freedom has the potential to perform tasks with nearly the same proficiency as a human being. Such a scenario would be quite interesting since Optimus’ current hands, which feature 11 degrees of freedom, are already leaps and bounds from their peers. 

During the first quarter earnings call, Elon Musk noted that Tesla could start selling Optimus externally by 2025. Musk also stated that the humanoid robot could enter limited production before the end of 2024

“We are able to do simple factory tasks or at least, I should say, factory tasks in the lab. We do think we will have Optimus in limited production in the natural factory itself, doing useful tasks before the end of this year. And then I think we may be able to sell it externally by the end of next year. These are just guesses,” Musk said. 

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Tesla Optimus to receive hands with 22 degrees of freedom later this year
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