May 19, 2024
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the prototype of the Optimus, the company's first humanoid robot that it intends to sell to the public.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the prototype of the Optimus, the company’s first humanoid robot that it intends to sell to the public.

Musk presented the robot during his display at Tesla’s AI Day on Friday. The bot runs on the company’s artificial intelligence software, which is used in Tesla vehicles for full self-driving and will be available for sale in the near future. The prototype has been highly anticipated after Musk had a man in a suit appear at 2021’s AI Day as a stand-in for the construct.

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The Optimus will be a “fundamental transformation for civilization as we know it,” Musk said while hyping up the robot during his speech.

Musk acknowledged the “guy in a suit” fiasco last year, in which the billionaire had a man in a spandex suit come out onto the stage and pretend to be an Optimus after its initial announcement. Musk promised something more impressive as the automaton walked out.

Two models of the robot were shared during Friday’s presentation. The first was a prototype model deconstructed and stripped of its exterior casing, and the second was a fully covered but nonoperational model.

While the robot can do more than what was shown, its stage appearance was the “first time it walked without a tether,” according to Musk.

Tesla also showed multiple clips of the robot performing various simple tasks, including picking up boxes and doing dance moves. The robot will also be adapted for future applications, Musk said, including cooking, gardening, and “sex partners.”

The robot is expected to sell for “probably less than $20,000,” according to Musk.

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While Tesla fans are typically quite excited about products like the Optimus, Musk has a history of making audacious claims about his products and failing to follow through on them. For example, Musk has promised the release of the Cybertruck since 2019, only to continue postponing its inevitable release. The Cybertruck is currently expected to release in 2023.

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