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Tesla Is About To Unveil Its New Humanoid Robot – For Real This Time

Hopefully, it isn't a human in a spandex costume like last time.

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockSep 28 2022, 16:19 UTC
An artist's drawing of Elon Musk showing off his robot last year. It was a man in a spandex suit.
Last year, Elon Musk unveiled a man dancing in a spandex suit. Image credit: KLYONA/shutterstock.com

Elon Musk is getting ready to show off a prototype of Tesla's humanoid robot on Friday, with the company claiming that they will soon set the robots to work on the factory floor.

Last time the company unveiled plans for the robot in August 2021, Musk was joined on stage by a strikingly-realistic human-looking robot, which danced impressively on stage in fluid, human-like movements. This, of course, was because the robot was actually a human dancer in spandex.

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This Friday, on Tesla's Artificial Intelligence (AI) day, Musk will unveil a prototype of the new robot Optimus (yes, it is named for Optimus Prime from Transformers), with a goal of setting thousands of the robots to work in Tesla factories in the near future. Musk claims that the robots will be "general purpose", or able to perform a multitude of tasks given to them. 

Tesla is an outsider in the humanoid robot game and will have to show the robot performing complex tasks in order to impress, professor in human systems engineering at Arizona State University Nancy Cooke told Reuters.

"If he just gets the robot to walk around, or he gets the robots to dance, that's already been done," she said. "That's not that impressive."

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The robots will not be designed for dancing and will be put to use on tasks deemed too boring or dangerous for humans. The CEO said that production could start next year, so get ready to see them from your hyper-loop capsule after they definitely appear in 2023 as well.


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