Tesla unveils Optimus, its futuristic humanoid robot for less than $20,000

After just over a year of waiting, Tesla has finally shown what its artificial intelligence-powered Optimus robot is capable of, while releasing information about its price.

On the occasion of its annual conference AI Day, which highlights the company’s latest advances in artificial intelligence, Elon Musk has lifted the veil on his first functional humanoid robot, named Optimus. As a reminder, Tesla unveiled a concept of the robot only a year ago, and now we have a good idea of ​​what the final version will look like.

The Optimus robot made a strong impression as it walked onto the stage. As you can see in the videos, the robot then waved to the crowd, before taking a few small dance steps. According to Musk, this was the first time it had worked without ” no supports, cranes, mechanical mechanisms or cables “. This is a simple development version, since all the connectors and internal components are still visible.

What is Optimus capable of?

Tesla took advantage of Optimus’ entry to show the public a video revealing what the robot is capable of. In this one, the machine can be seen performing menial tasks, such as water plants, carry a box and move metal bars in the Tesla factory. The video you can find below also shows a 3D view of the world that represents what the Optimus robot can see.

Tesla Optimus

At the event, Musk and his team insisted that the prototype of the robot was a demonstration model developed in just six months, and that another more advanced model looked much more like the “version 1” of the machine that they wanted to market. Elon Musk has also brought the most advanced version of the robot onto the stage, but this one was not yet able to move. He said he would probably be able to walk in a few weeks.

Tesla Optimus versions

As a reminder, Tesla expects his robot to be able to understand complex verbal commands. It would also have “human-level hands”. The robot could alsot move at a speed of 8 km/h and carry up to 20 kg despite being less than 1.80 m tall and weighing 73 kg.

Optimus uses the same technology as Tesla’s near-autonomous vehicles

Elon Musk recalled that Optimus uses the same Full Self-Driving system as its electric cars, which will eventually allow it to navigate space autonomously. The Tesla team also detailed the various components of the robot. We find for example a battery with a capacity of 2.3 kilowatt hours inside the torsoperfect for a full day’s work “. It draws around 100 watts when sitting and 500 watts when walking, which is almost as much as Nvidia’s latest RTX 4090.

Tesla Optimus components

Tesla engineers also focused on Optimus robots’ degrees of freedom, meaning the different ways they can bend or twist at different joints. According to Tesla, the full body of the robot has over 200 degrees of freedom, 27 of which are in the hands.

Finally, Tesla claims to develop neural capacities close to those of humans for his robot. The latter will be able to process visual information, make decisions or communicate using an audio system. The “brain” part of the machine will be at the level of the neck, and will consist of a homemade Tesla chip accompanied by a Wi-Fi and LTE modem.

When will the first version of Optimus arrive?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reiterated that his goal is to have a working humanoid robot as soon as possible. ” Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as soon as possible said Musk. ” There is still a lot of work to be done to refine and improve Optimus “.

It will therefore probably be necessary to wait several years before we can see it arrive in our homes, but the robot could very quickly be used in Tesla’s own factories to replace certain employees for simple tasks.

Elon Musk revealed at the conference that he expected the first versions of the robot to be marketed cheaper than his cars. The starting price could be set at less than $20,000, and Tesla expects quickly produce several million copies.

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