Tesla expects thousands of humanoid robots to work in its factories. Job postings posted by the manufacturer show the company is upping the ante on humanoid bi-pedal robots in its operations.
Tesla is actively ramping up plans to develop the Tesla Bot, aka Optimus, as evidenced by internal activity, as well as hiring for about 20 positions, including software and firmware engineers, deep learning scientists, actuator technicians, and internships. Most positions are posted in the Autopilot & Robotics and Engineering & Information Technology categories. Most of the jobs are located in Palo Alto, California, but there is also one position located in Agia Paraskevi, Attica, Greece.
In the description of some positions, Tesla mentioned that thousands of humanoid robots will be used in its factories, which is quite consistent with Elon Musk's earlier statement. The company wrote:
“Tesla is on a path to build humanoid bi-pedal robots at scale to automate repetitive and boring tasks [...] Most importantly, you will see your work repeatedly shipped to and utilized by thousands of Humanoid Robots within our factories.”
In August 2021, at AI Day, Musk unveiled a humanoid robot, saying that it would be a general-purpose machine that would perform a wide range of tasks. Ultimately, Optimus will be able to do everything that people do not want to do.
During the 2021 Earnings Call, Musk tried to explain the importance of the company's new development. He said that in terms of the priority of products, the humanoid robot is the most important product development that Tesla is doing this year. In addition, Musk explained that Optimus has the potential to become more significant than the vehicle business over time.
“So, in terms of priority of products, I think actually the most important product development we're doing this year is actually the Optimus humanoid robot. This, I think, has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.”
The head of the company also explained the true importance of the new development. According to him, Tesla Bot will become a universal replacement for human labor, since labor is the basis of any economy. The robot will also alleviate the labor shortage due to the significant decline in the birth rate, which will create a problem in the future. In December 2021, at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) board summit, Musk said:
“[Tesla Bot] has the potential to be a generalized substitute for human labor over time. The foundation of the economy is labor. Capital equipment is essentially distilled labor...The fundamental constraint is labor. There are not enough people. I can't emphasize this enough. There are not enough people. I think one of the biggest risks for civilizations is the low birthrate and the rapidly declining birthrate.”
The head of Tesla said that initially, the Tesla bot will likely be used at the company's own facilities. “The first use of the Tesla Bots, Optimus, the Optimus name seems to be sticking at least internally, Optimus Subprime. Like if we can't find a use for it, then we shouldn't expect that others would. So, the first use of the Optimus robots would be, at Tesla, like moving parts around the factory or something like that,” he said.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.