Tesla Optimus has made a huge leap in development. The bipedal robot is now capable of self-calibrating its limbs in space using only vision.
Tesla first announced plans to launch a humanoid, bipedal robot at AI Day in August 2021. At that time it was just an idea. For the demonstration, a person wearing a form-fitting robotic suit came on stage and did fancy dance moves. Already in October 2022, Tesla showed the Optimus prototype at AI Day. The V1 robot could walk untethered on its own, while V2 stood tethered.
During Investor Day in March 2023, Tesla demonstrated several robots. They moved independently and worked together to complete certain tasks. The company paid special attention to the progress of the custom-built actuator, which its own team is working on. During the 2023 Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 16, the company showed off five actual robotic humanoids. They performed various tasks such as walking, detecting new environments and memorizing them, picking up, lifting, and putting down things, and more.
Four months later, Tesla is again sharing the progress of Optimus development. On Saturday, the company's official X account said “Optimus can now sort objects autonomously” and shared a video. It showed how the robot goes through the processes of self-calibrating and physically sorting colored blocks into appropriate trays. It is also worth noting that Optimus could perform the task in a dynamic environment. While it was sorting the blocks, the person was moving them, changing their location. Despite this, the robot picked up the block and accurately placed it in the correct tray. Additionally, when Optimus places a block on its side in one of the trays, it uses a corrective action to return to the block and flip it right side up.
In the video, Tesla explained that “using only vision and joint position encoders, it [Optimus] can precisely locate its limbs in space.” Its neural net runs entirely on-board, using only vision. In fact, this is what Tesla will introduce with version 12 of Full Self-Driving (FSD), which is controlled by artificial intelligence. As Elon Musk previously demonstrated and explained, a neural network is trained using videos of how to properly drive a car under various conditions, and then acts in accordance with the acquired “knowledge.” This is also what happens when Tesla trains Optimus.
Optimus can now sort objects autonomously 🤖— Tesla Optimus (@Tesla_Optimus) September 23, 2023
Its neural network is trained fully end-to-end: video in, controls out.
Come join to help develop Optimus (& improve its yoga routine 🧘)
→ https://t.co/dBhQqg1qya pic.twitter.com/1Lrh0dru2r
In the video, Tesla writes:
“Tesla Optimus is now capable of self-calibrating its arms and legs. Using only vision and joint position encoders, it can precisely locate its limbs in space. Accurately calibrated, Optimus learns various tasks more efficiently. Its neural net runs entirely on-board, using only vision. for example, it can sort these blocks by color fully autonomously. and it does so while dealing with the dynamic reality of our world. Optimus also demonstrates autonomous, corrective action capabilities. It can be trained to conduct new tasks, such as un-sorting. And, after a long day of work, time to stretch. Namaste!”
© 2023, 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.