An uncharacteristically subdued Elon Musk offered some brief video on the Optimus prototype, noting that as lately as October final yr, it needed to be rolled out on stage to wave like a politician.
“It is price allowing for that once we did AI day, this model of Optimus did not stroll in any respect,” stated Musk. “So the speed of enchancment right here is kind of important. It is clearly not doing parkour, however it’s strolling round, and we now have a number of copies, I suppose, of Optimus.”
The video exhibits Optimus strolling round – albeit pretty slowly compared to the parkour-capable Atlas robotic by Boston Dynamics. It additionally makes use of its opposable thumbs and human-like arms, in a sequence wherein one Optimus robotic unplugs a dismembered Optmus arm from a check stand, picks it up, and carries it over to a workstation the place one other bot is engaged on a 3rd. With some artful modifying, it gives the look that the primary robotic is holding the arm in place whereas the second bolts it onto the third robotic in a mockup of android-based manufacturing.
If it suffers compared to Atlas, it is not alone. Atlas is essentially the most superior humanoid robotic on the planet, and has been for a few years now. However the context right here is essential; Boston Dynamics has been engaged on bio-mimetic robots since 1992. It unveiled its first humanoid PETMAN robotic in 2009, and inside two years it was proven strolling, squatting, kneeling and balancing towards push forces. Atlas made its debut in 2013, and has taken a strong 10 years to study to dance, do parkour, and start to carry out some fundamental duties. So it appears truthful to offer the youthful Optimus bot time to catch up.
“The factor that Tesla brings to the desk that others haven’t got, we’re essentially the most superior in real-world AI,” stated Musk. “So the identical AI that drives the automotive … You possibly can consider the automotive as a robotic on wheels, and it is a robotic on legs. I do not assume there’s anybody even near Tesla on fixing real-world AI. It isn’t that useful to have a humanoid robotic if you must program each motion. It wants to have the ability to stroll round autonomously and remedy duties. you must have the ability to instruct it in easy issues, by exhibiting visually the robotic must do, or simply telling it what to do. That is the important thing benefit that we now have.”
“We’re additionally good at designing issues for manufacturing, and manufacturing at scale,” he continued. “The actuators in Optimus are all customized Tesla actuators. We designed the electrical motor, the gearbox, the ability electronics, clearly the battery pack, every little thing else that goes into Optimus. We have been fairly stunned to seek out how little was accessible off the shelf. There is a huge variety of electrical motors and gearboxes and whatnot accessible on the earth, and we discovered none of them have been helpful in a humanoid robotic. So the identical group that designed the groundbreaking electrical motors in, say, the Mannequin S Plaid, designed the actuators within the robotic. For sensible functions what this implies is that we must always have the ability to convey an precise product to market at scale that’s helpful, far sooner than anybody else.”
Whereas this stays to be seen, it is undoubtedly a departure from the research-first, limited-scale commercialization method Boston Dynamics has taken. Tesla is growing its robotic to be a mass-manufactured product from the get-go, and one helpful sufficient to grow to be a general-purpose labor saver.
After all, general-purpose humanoid robots are projected to have an unbelievable impression on society as an entire, and whereas Musk is pushing arduous to get these items constructed and into service as shortly as attainable, he is properly conscious of what they might imply.
“Assuming the issues I am saying are true, a minimum of, they’re true, it is only a query of the timing, you begin moving into fascinating questions,” he says. “You possibly can see a house use for robots, definitely industrial makes use of for humanoid robots. I believe we would exceed a 1:1 ratio of humanoid robots to people. It isn’t even clear what an economic system means at that time. If an economic system is output per individual instances individuals, but when output is far larger and there isn’t any restrict on individuals, then what is the precise restrict on the economic system? We’re nonetheless fairly removed from Kardashev scales right here, however we’re getting there.”
When requested if near-future generations of AI, mixed with humanoid robots, may begin serving to Tesla by way of its automotive “manufacturing hell,” Musk did not assume so, however admitted that even he is likely to be out of a job as soon as they will.
“I do not see AI serving to us make automobiles any time quickly,” he stated. “At that time, I imply, there isn’t any level in any of us working I believe. We must always all simply relax. I’m somewhat fearful concerning the AI stuff, I believe it is one thing we needs to be involved about. I believe we want some sort of regulatory authority overseeing AI improvement and ensuring it is working throughout the public curiosity. It is fairly a harmful know-how. I worry I’ll have performed some issues to speed up it, which is … I do not know … I believe Tesla’s doing good issues in AI, however this one stresses me out, so I do not know what to say about it.”
Nonetheless, it is full steam forward on the Tesla Bot, and Musk nonetheless believes traders do not but know what they’re .
“It is most likely the least understood or appreciated a part of what we’re doing at Tesla, however will most likely be price considerably greater than the automotive facet of issues long-term,” he stated.
You possibly can bounce to 1:48:20 within the video under to see the place Optimus is at.
2023 Investor Day