Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, known for making electric and self-driving cars, can never be underestimated for his drive to create new technology. This time, it looks like his company is up to something big and exciting. During the Tesla AI Day event, he recently revealed Tesla’s next big project- The humanoid bot, Optimus. This revelation has left many people and industries wondering, what it is, how it will work, and what are its distinctive features. Here we will discuss Elon’s next big project and how it can be or not be a cornerstone in AI.
Tesla is more than a car manufacturing company; it is a technology company. The main agenda of Tesla’s AI Day said; What is next for AI beyond our vehicle fleet.
The goal of Tesla is to develop highly efficient and intelligent products that leverage a wide range of technologies. Tesla’s AI Day is organized to showcase this vision by informing the stakeholders about how it works to build advanced and intelligent life-changing products.
Elon introduced a 125 lbs in weight, 5’8″ tall electromagnetically actuated humanoid robot as a show stopper of Tesla’s AI Day. This humanoid robot, named as Tesla bot, is expected to come as a prototype next year.
As per the saying of Elon Musk, the aim of creating this robot is to perform daunting, repetitive, and boring tasks. The main focus is to help humans ease the drudgery of daily life. It can help to do work like “bending over to pick something, or go to the store for groceries”, Elon Musk said.
The main features of the Tesla bot, as expressed in the presentation on Teslas AI Day, are:
- Eliminates dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks
- Height: 5’8″
- Weight: 125 LBS
- Speed: 5 mph
The Tesla bot is designed to work in a “world built by humans, for humans.” It means it would be friendly and “eliminate dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks. The non-human creature is significantly engineered to be friendly and eliminate danger to humans.
Image source: YouTube
Specs of Tesla bot:
The tesla bot is made of unspecified lightweight materials and has a screen on the face to show useful information. It has 40 electromechanical actuators: twelve in arms, legs and hands each and two each in the neck and torso. These actuators are responsible for enabling smooth movement and human-level hands. It has two axis feet for balancing and force feedback sensing ability. This robot is going to be innovative in a way that it would have technologies similar to those in cars such as FSD computer, autopilot camera, neutral network, and Dojo Supercomputer. Elon said that “Robot will just be a Tesla without wheels.”
Image Source: YouTube
The analyst’s perspective:
Since the time Tesla bot has been unveiled, various kinds of thoughts and opinions are advancing. While some call it a breakthrough solution, others call it a bad idea. There are also a fraction of people who call it a Musk’s publicity stunt. Tesla bot- yay or nay, let us figure out by enlisting its prospected advantages and disadvantages.
No one knows when exactly the Tesla bots will be in the market, but when they will, they may support humans in the following ways:
Will be labour-saving:
The purpose of the Tesla bots is to serve humans and reduce their time and effort on strenuous and repetitive tasks. Though Musk categorically said they would help to do (domestic)mundane tasks, they may be utilized by a wide range of industries. The manufacturing industries would mainly direly need such efficient, intelligent, and disruptive products to help them get the tasks done efficiently. Therefore, the industries, small and large scale, will take advantage of them.
The labour-saving is directly proportional to resource-saving. The industries can buy the robots once for all and get rid of hiring labour for a wide range of tasks. As a result, they will save time, money, and other resources invested in human labour. It can be highly useful for the industries to employ Tesla bots and garner more return on investment.
While the idea of Tesla Bot may look really exciting, it cannot be overlooked that it may encumber many opportunities and pose threats to humans in different ways. In essence, it may work inversely to what it is expected to do; offload stress.
It will eliminate jobs:
First of all, when the bots become the prime workers in the industries, the humans will eventually lose their jobs. It means that it will significantly eliminate future jobs, especially in mining, manufacturing, retail, hospitality industry, and other labour-intensive fields. As a result, people will have to skill up in other departments and search for other income sources. In this way, this advancement is most likely to snatch the jobs of a large fraction of people, which is a major setback.
Dangerous for the economy:
When people lose jobs, it will ultimately affect the economy. While speaking about the effects of the Tesla Bot on the economy, Elon Musk said that “the future of physical work will be a choice. If you wanna do it, you can. But you won’t need to do it.’ However, this reason does not seem potent enough to justify the impression of the bot on the economy.
Physical work will be a choice:
One of the downsides of the Tesla Bot is also that it would become an option to physically work in the future. When given the option to work and rest, humans will definitely opt to rest, which means it will lead to significant physical and social changes in human life as a whole.
The ambiguities regarding advanced features:
While Elon confidently announced that the Tesla bot would have features as of its cars like Dojo supercomputer, FSD, and autopilot system, etc., it has not yet reacted to the probe ordered against its autopilot system over emergency vehicle crashes. It needs to ensure that the stakeholders have complete confidence in their product before they launch or hope to get a clean chit.
Cannot take the place of a human:
A robot, be it an automated or whatsoever features, can only function to the programmed settings. It can not improvise its actions the way humans do. Having said that, it is yet ambiguous to accept that it can completely replace a human worker at a workplace, especially. Also, they are said to be beneficial for offloading domestic tasks, but given that they may cost high, if not exorbitant, they would be unaffordable for homeowners.
What to expect from the Tesla bot?
We all know about robots and their limitations, but is tesla bot different? Is it going to break the barriers for the generic robotic attributes? During the launch, Elon Must presented a very obvious human walking and dancing. Can we expect the tesla bot to imitate the human characteristics as bipedal locomotion? Well, the questions are so many, which will only be answered when the prototype unveils. But for now, the only things that we can expect of the Tesla Bot are:
Tesla bots helping humans avoid risk:
The well-thought-out idea behind the tesla bots is that they can help do the dangerous work that humans risk their lives doing. These bots can help perform functions where there is a risk of life—for example, logging, mining, roofing etc. In some ways, it will help people do what they love to do and are good at.
Tesla bots working in integration like humans:
It is expected that, like humans, the tesla bots can work with one another or in integration to work on a task. It means they must be able to complete group tasks rather than just solo tasks.
Tesla bots will take verbal instructions:
When it comes to creating a bot that can perform mundane tasks, it has to have advance, adaptive programming. It is a big challenge; however, we can expect Tesla bots to take verbal instructions with advanced natural language processing.
Response to Tesla bot announcement:
While it is too soon to say if the people will be happy or unhappy with the Tesla bots, the news has given the audience much to make fun of. It was inevitable for an announcement like this-and in this way- to be met with criticism and ridicule. A large number of people think that this is a late April fool’s joke, and very few seem to get excited for the prototype to reveal, most probably next year.
Near the end of the event, Elon Musk said that: Tesla is the world’s largest robotics company because our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels.” And it will be interesting to know if the stakeholders think the same. Anyhow, the Tesla bots can be a major revolution if they can actually leverage advanced, adaptable technology. It will make physical work a choice in the future by helping to do mundane, boring tasks.