Tesla’s First Robot Demo Was Very Disappointing


Friday was AI Day 2022 at Tesla, and the company revealed an actual Optimus humanoid robot prototype. Last year the company simply brought on a man in a robot suit to do a dance.

Before Optimus took the stage, Elon Musk and the presentation team made it clear that this was the first time the prototype was allowed to move around without any restrictions on its movements. When the walls retracted to reveal the robot, it slowly walked toward the crowd, waved, lifted its hands up in a dance move, stopped, then returned backstage. It was on stage for a little more than one minute.

Tesla prototype humanoid robot waves at the crowd as a crew wheels it on stage.
The “actual” robot, which didn’t walk. Tesla

Once the robot left, Musk reassured the crowd that Optimus could do much more than what was demonstrated live, but the Tesla team didn’t want it to “fall on its face.” Then the presentation team played a video of the robot doing “a bunch of other things” like carrying packages, watering potted plants, and organizing components in a box.

Musk explained that the live demo robot was a “bumble” model and that they had an actual Optimus bot that more closely resembles what the company will put into production. However, that robot wasn’t quite ready to walk, although Musk said it would be able to in a few weeks. The presentation team then rolled out a sleeker-looking model that appeared to be waving on its own. But, other than moving its arms, the production unit just stood there.

Musk went on to say that Optimus humanoid robot will likely be ready in the coming “months or years” and have a price tag of “less than $20,000.”

Source: The Verge

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