On August 19, Tesla AI Day took place, which demonstrated something that no one expected. The California-based manufacturer, which develops unique hardware and software equipment, presented a humanoid robot—Tesla Bot.
Those who closely watch the company's work realize that Tesla has long gone beyond the manufacturing of automobiles and energy solutions. The modern world poses a number of complex challenges for manufacturers that can be easily solved with the help of AI. While they all use the help (but so far unsuccessfully) of third-party developers and manufacturers to create the appropriate hardware, software and products, Tesla is truly unique because it has its own development team.
From the development of robotics for the production of their own cars to the development of unique hardware and software for their products, all this is to the merit of the Tesla team. Thus, we can no longer speak of the company only as a manufacturer of automobiles and energy solutions, we are obliged to view Tesla as a robotics and artificial intelligence robotics company as well.
In addition to the impressive developments and progress presented at AI Day, Tesla presented something completely unimaginable. CEO Elon Musk announced the development of a humanoid robot called Tesla Bot and said a prototype will be available next year. Such an announcement probably shocked many people, but the creation of a robot by the company was inevitable.
Tesla cars are already "semi-sentient robots on wheels." Its vehicles use technologies developed by the company to control themselves while driving (while under close supervision and readiness to intervene immediately by a human driver). This tech includes the Self-Driving computer, sensors, batteries, actuators, software, etc.—a collection of technology that already allows for the creation of robots. So Tesla decided it should enter this area to set the standard for the physical and moral aspect of the existence of such mechanisms.
At the moment, the main problem that Tesla Bot has to solve is doing dangerous, repetitive, or boring work that people don't like to do. The humanoid robot will be 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) tall, weigh 125 pounds (57 kg) and have a top speed of 5 mph (8 km/h). The company is developing a friendly robot, but knowing Musk's fears about their possible superiority over humans, Tesla is playing it extra safe. Tesla Bot will be specially designed to be slow and not too powerful, so that if something does go wrong, a human could still run away from it or overpower it. “We're setting such that it is, at a mechanical level, at a physical level, you can run away from it and most likely overpower it. Hopefully, that doesn’t ever happen, but you never know,” Musk said.
The Tesla Bot will be made from lightweight materials and has the agility of a human thanks to 40 mechanical actuators: 12 in the arms, 12 in the hands, 12 in the legs, 2 in the torso, and 2 in the neck. It will also have 2 axis feet for balancing and force feedback sensing. It will have a screen on the head to display useful information. Tesla Bot will be equipped with 8 Autopilot cameras, FSD hardware, multi-cam video neural networks, neural network planning, auto-labeling, simulation and tools, and Dojo training. This means that it will be able to move independently in the environment without programming specific routes. Ultimately, Tesla Bot will have to carry out various commands given to it by a person, from simple requests to more cumbersome tasks, to going to the store for the groceries, for example.
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
We appreciate your readership! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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.