Elon Musk discussed his ideas and intentions for the future humanoid robot that Tesla was developing a year ago. The effort has been ongoing for 13 months, and yesterday evening at Tesla’s AI day, the business showcased its progress. This year’s event featured a real terminator, as opposed to the gig worker in a spandex outfit from the previous year. This refers to a real robot having electronics and mechanical components. We still don’t know why the business didn’t use a robotic suit to cover up all the internals. But that is an other matter of discussion.
Elon Musk said a year ago that the Optimus would function independently thanks to artificial intelligence. It resembles the company’s Autopilot system in certain ways. Furthermore, it doesn’t require much training to operate securely around people.
What Can Optimus Do?
More crucially, the humanoid robot Tesla Optimus is capable of comprehending complex verbal instructions. The Tesla Bot would also have “human-level hands,” according to Musk. In other words, this robot has a 5 MPH top speed and a 45 pound carrying capacity. The robot will be 125 pounds in weight and 6 feet tall.
In all honesty, what we witnessed on the stage was a crude prototype that could move around unaided. But it moved with a heavy gait. Therefore, it would be naive to assume that the Optimus humanoid robot has reached the pinnacle of its development at this point.
Musk attempted to offer an explanation by claiming that “it wasn’t quite ready to walk.” But I believe we’ll go for a walk in a few weeks. We wanted to demonstrate the robot that is actually very similar to the one that would be used in manufacturing.
We want to create a usable humanoid robot as soon as we can, according to Musk. “And we’ve also designed it using the same discipline that we use in designing the car, that is, to make the robot at a high volume at a low cost with higher reliability,” the statement continued. When the robot is ready for mass production, according to Musk, it will only cost around $20,000.
Tesla Bot Specs
A 2.3 kWh battery pack will be included with the Tesla Optimus, according to some technical details. It is presumable that the latter will combine different power control systems onto a single PCB. If the business wants to ensure that it has power all day, this is crucial.
“Humans are also pretty efficient at some things but not so efficient at other times,” Lizzie Miskovetz, a Senior Mechanical Design Engineer at Tesla and a member of the engineering team, explained. Such an approach has something in common with human metabolism. Thus, with a small amount of food, we can sustain ourselves. The robot should be able to remain “alive” when there is only a small amount of power.
“On the robot platform, what we’re going to do is we’re going to minimize that. Idle power consumption, drop it as low as possible,” she continued. “We’re going to reduce our part count and our power consumption of every element possible. We’re going to do things like reducing the sensing and the wiring at our extremities.”
There Is Still A Long Way To Pass
All pricey and heavy materials will be replaced by plastic, according to the Tesla team. This will aid in the humanoid robot Optimus being lightweight. The majority of our design expertise from the automobile is being transferred to the robot, according to Milan Kovac, Tesla’s Director of Autopilot Software Engineering.
The capacity of creating humanoid robots to orient themselves in actual environments is another issue. “We want to leverage both the autopilot hardware and the software for the humanoid platform, but because it’s different in requirements and inform factor,” Miskovetz said. “It’s going to do everything that a human brain does: processing vision data, making split-second decisions based on multiple sensory inputs and communications.” For the latter, they mean integrated Wi-Fi and cellular radios.
“The human hand can move at 300 degrees per second, as tens of thousands of tactile sensors. It can grasp and manipulate almost every object in our daily lives,” Kovac said. “We were inspired by biology. [Optimus hands] have five fingers and an opposable thumb. Our fingers are driven by metallic tendons that are both flexible and strong because of the ability to complete wide aperture power grasps while also being optimized for precision, gripping of small, thin, and delicate objects.”
Tesla Optimus Should Differ From Rivals
The robot’s hands will be equipped with “complex mechanisms that allow the hand to adapt to the objects being grasped.” We have a finger drive that cannot be reversed. Without activating the hand motors, we may grip and move objects thanks to this clutching mechanism.
But there is still a far route to travel. However, as Kovac noted, they hope to produce something extremely beneficial. In the coming weeks, the Tesla engineering team plans to test the device’s ability to walk without a tether. They will then start investigating more practical applications.
“After seeing what we’ve shown tonight,” Kovac said. “I’m pretty sure we can get this done within the next few months or years and maybe make this product a reality and change the entire economy.”