Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his next project back on August 19 during the company’s highly anticipated artificial intelligence (AI) event: a humanoid robot. The potential robot has been termed “Tesla Bot” by the founder Elon Musk, and according to the company, it was designed to perform physical tasks that are “unsafe, repetitive or boring” for us humans.
What Does Tesla Bot Look Like?
Tesla Bot weighs in at 125 pounds and stands at 5 feet, 8 inches tall. It is capable of carrying up to 45 pounds and deadlifting up to 150 pounds, according to the company’s presentation. It can also move up to 5 miles per hour, which is still enough for humans to run away from it, the CEO jokes.
“At a mechanical level, at a physical level, you can run away from it – and most likely overpower it,” Musk said during the presentation.
The slim body makes it appear like a human, and it is colored white, gray and black. It was constructed out of an undisclosed material.
The head will feature a screen that would provide information to whoever was looking at or communicating with the humanoid, and it would run on Tesla’s full self-driving computer with an autopilot system and eight cameras.
AI is the major driving factor behind the robot, and it will rely on neural net planning, simulation, and multi-cam video neural networks. The bot will use all of the tools that are available in the Tesla cars.
What is the Goal of Tesla Bot?
According to Musk, one goal is to have the bot capable of doing things it wasn’t explicitly programmed to do, such as going and getting your groceries or picking up the correct tool. This can be applied across both the work environment and at home, meaning the bot is not limited to the manufacturing setting.
The other major goal is to build all of the pieces of a useful humanoid robot, and Musk actually says that Tesla is the biggest robotics company in the world given the type of technology they use in their vehicles. Safety will be another major focus of the development, which isn’t surprising given Musk’s viewpoints on a possible dystopian future brought about by “killer robots.”
The bot’s build, including five fingers in version one, will enable it to work with tools and carry objects. This will likely be one of the most crucial aspects of the robot, and it could have major implications in many industries that consist of this type of repetitive and heavy work.
How Tesla Bot Could Impact Future Work
Humanoid robots like Tesla Bot are going to have a major impact on the future of work, especially as human-robot collaboration becomes more commonplace in industries like manufacturing. This is even more true as COVID-19 has increased the need for resilient supply chains.
Because full automation is expensive and can be extremely difficult to implement, Tesla Bot and others like it will be a better choice. They enable robots and humans to work together, combining the best aspects of both. While industrial robots are strong and efficient, they do not have creativity like us humans.
The manufacturing industry is forced to respond to constant changes in the market, and with mass customization and higher expectations among consumers, it is crucial for companies to achieve faster product cycles. In order to compete in the global market, manufacturers must fundamentally change the way they produce goods, and technology like the Tesla Bot is a major step in that direction.
Not only will Tesla Bot improve operations within a factory, but it can also greatly improve working conditions. Because it can undertake dangerous and difficult tasks, more human workers will be out of harm’s way. Besides improving safety, it also creates a much more preferable work environment for those individuals.
We are getting closer to a time when humanoid robots will be present in both the workplace and our everyday lives, and companies like Tesla are creating technology that could pave the way for eventual humanoid robots that are indistinguishable from us.
The company expects to release a prototype of the Tesla Bot by 2022.