“Bumble-Cee” may have stolen the show at Tesla’s AI Day 2022 event since it was showcased doing actual work at the Fremont Factory, but the real showstopper during the event was its successor, an Optimus bot built with custom components.
Tesla made it a point to highlight that the innovations it was showcasing on AI Day 2022 are only the start of its ambitious humanoid robot program. Thus, while “Bumble-Cee” was already impressive by operating autonomously on stage and doing work at the Fremont Factory, Tesla clarified that the prototype was made with off-the-shelf parts.
And with “Bumble-Cee” working, Tesla has been busy designing and refining a successor using components that were custom-designed. A prototype of “Bumble-Cee’s” successor was then unveiled, and as per Elon Musk, the robot was a bit closer to Optimus’ production version.
It even has a Tesla Texas belt buckle.
The second Optimus bot unveiled onstage cannot walk on its own yet, but one could clearly see that its movements were significantly more fluid than “Bumble-Cee.” And true to Elon Musk’s comments, the prototype was indeed sleeker and closer to the Optimus concept teased by the company during last year’s AI Day event.
What’s particularly interesting about Tesla’s Optimus prototypes showcased in AI Day 2022 was the fact that they were developed over a relatively short period of time. As per a slide shown at the event, the Optimus Bot concept was unveiled on AI Day 2021. “Bumble-Cee,” the development platform, followed in February 2022, and today, Tesla is already hard at work with the humanoid robot’s latest iteration.
Optimus is being built on Tesla’s years of data, with the company using the same AI software to control the humanoid robot as its vehicles. A significant amount of the same technology applies, such as gauging the occupancy of areas where Optimus is operating in. The humanoid robot just happens to be trained in real-world environments instead of driving data.
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