Tesla has posted an update to its Optimus program on X, and it is extremely impressive. Over the course of a short video, Tesla showcased the Gen 2 Optimus prototype, which features an updated design, almost humanlike hand movements, and a lighter weight compared to its previous iterations.
In its short demonstration, the Gen 2 Optimus robot could be seen moving its neck and arms like a human being. Tesla noted that the robot features custom-designed actuators and sensors, as well as a 2-DoF actuated neck. The robot features a 30% walking speed boost from its previous iteration, and it is also 10 kg lighter.
It also boasts better balance and control, and it is equipped with faster, 11-DoF hands with tactile sensing on all fingers. Tesla demonstrated the Gen 2 Optimus robot’s hand control by having the robot handle an egg in the video. Tesla ended its video with a couple of Gen 2 Optimus robots dancing to some music — quite impressively, all things considered.
Everything in this video is real, no CGI. All real time, nothing sped up. Incredible hardware improvements from the team. https://t.co/y5QNYaZy0M— Julian Ibarz (@julianibarz) December 13, 2023
So smooth were the movements of Gen 2 Optimus in its demonstration that members of the Tesla Bot team have taken to social media to clarify that the footage is real and not CGI. The Tesla Bot team members also highlighted that the robots’ movements in the video were recorded in real-time, not sped up.
Excited to share our latest bot ! Amazing new platform to build the future of humanoid robotics upon. Very proud of the teams who've all been hard at work to get this to happen 🙂— Milan Kovac (@_milankovac_) December 13, 2023
This new generation, which is in effect the 3rd since we started the program less than 2 years ago,… https://t.co/k2kGFsXUuu
The capabilities of the Gen 2 Optimus robot are very impressive, especially considering the fact that Tesla’s humanoid robot program is just over two years old now. Tesla announced its intentions to build a humanoid robot at its first AI Day event in August 2021, and at the time, all the company had was a static model and a man in a robot suit dancing onstage.
To be fair, the rapid progress of Tesla’s Optimus program was already evident since AI Day 2.0., which was held in September 2022. At the time, Tesla was able to show a development prototype called “Bumblebee,” which was built with off-the-shelf parts, walking on its own without human assistance. The company also revealed a more advanced Optimus robot that’s equipped with Tesla-designed actuators and sensors.
Optimus can now sort objects autonomously 🤖— Tesla Optimus (@Tesla_Optimus) September 23, 2023
Its neural network is trained fully end-to-end: video in, controls out.
Come join to help develop Optimus (& improve its yoga routine 🧘)
→ https://t.co/dBhQqg1qya pic.twitter.com/1Lrh0dru2r
The more advanced Optimus prototype, named “Gen 1 Optimus” in Tesla’s recent video announcement, featured smoother movements than “Bumblebee,” but it could not stand on its own feet yet. By May 2023, however, Tesla posted a video on X showing the Gen 1 Optimus walking on its own, and on September 2023, the robot was sorting objects by color. It could even do some yoga moves that required quite a bit of balance.
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