On September 25th 2023, Tesla held a highly anticipated event where they provided an update on their humanoid robot, Optimus. This bot, originally called the Tesla Bot, represents a major leap towards futuristic AI and robotics technology becoming a reality. Based on the progress revealed at the event, the future is looking very bright!
First, let’s recap what we knew about Optimus before this latest update. Tesla originally announced the Tesla Bot concept back in 2021, describing it as an AI humanoid robot designed to perform tedious or dangerous tasks. The first prototype was expected to be 5’8” tall, weigh 125lbs, and be capable of carrying 45lbs. An early demo showed a person in a robot costume walking stiffly across a stage – not exactly an impressive start!
After over a year of secrecy, this latest event finally provided real footage of Optimus in action. And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint! The difference from the early costume demo to now is like night and day.
In the update video, Optimus confidently and smoothly walks out onto the stage without any support rigging or wires. The robot then proceeds to pick up and neatly arrange boxes on a shelf. After completing the task, Optimus even does a little celebratory dance! How adorable is that?
But wait, the demos don’t stop there. Next, we see Optimus mimicking Tai Chi and yoga poses with shocking accuracy. Talk about total body coordination! The fact that it can balance on one leg while moving its arms shows just how far the robot’s mobility has advanced.
According to Tesla, this is all made possible by training Optimus entirely using neural nets. This means the robot can learn simply by watching demos, without the need for excessive traditional programming. As Tesla put it, the bot is “figuring things out automatically.” This efficient learning ability will allow Optimus to quickly and continually expand its skillset.
The biggest surprise was seeing multiple Optimus prototypes walking around at Tesla’s robotics lab. It’s one thing to have a single robot that can do some scripted tasks on stage. But a whole army of them autonomously moving around obstacles shows that Tesla is serious about getting these bots out of the lab and into the real world soon!
While Tesla didn’t confirm an exact release date, they estimate Optimus will cost under $20,000. That’s far cheaper than expected for such an advanced AI robot built with Tesla’s proven automotive hardware. This accessible price point will allow the bots to proliferate rapidly once available.
It’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities. As one Elon Musk quote put it, Optimus “has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.” Tesla is truly on the bleeding edge of robotics development. And based on yesterday’s remarkable demos, the future for Optimus looks very bright. We can’t wait to see what further advancements Tesla rolls out next! The age of affordable, useful robots for the home and workplace is closer than ever.