At Tesla’s Q4 2021 and full-year earnings call, Elon Musk talked about the company’s product goals. He highlighted that the production of Tesla’s humanoid robot, which internally has been dubbed Optimus, is one of the most important products in development at the moment.
At the latest earnings call, Elon Musk announced that Tesla will not be introducing new vehicle models in 2022. He explained that Tesla was still experiencing some part constraints, undoubtedly affecting production on several exciting projects, including the Cybertruck, Semi, and Roadster. However, Musk also stated that Tesla would continue to do “a lot of engineering and tooling” on products it has already launched, such as the Optimus humanoid robot.
“So, in terms of priority of products, I think actually the most important product development we’re doing this year is actually the Optimus humanoid robot. This, I think has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time,” Musk said.
“If you think about the economy, it is— the foundation of the economy is labor. Capital equipment is distilled labor. So, what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about. So, very important,” he elaborated.
At the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Musk also stated that the Tesla Bot could address labor shortage issues. He further explained that rapidly declining birthrates were a risk for civilization.
At the Q4 2021 earnings call, Musk said that Optimus or (Optimus Sub-prime’s) first job would most likely be at Tesla factories. Thus far, Tesla’s work on its humanoid robot seems to be moving along as scheduled.
After revealing its venture into humanoid robots during AI Day last year, Tesla announced that a prototype of Optimus would be unveiled by 2022. Tesla certainly didn’t seem to waste time forming a team to work on the humanoid robot.
In the same month the Tesla Bot was announced, the head of Tesla’s Mobile Robotics, Chris Walti, started looking for engineers and technicians to add to the humanoid robot program. By November 2021, Tesla posted even more job openings for the initiative.