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Tesla unveils its humanoid robot for ‘less than $20,000’

Tesla has unveiled its Optimus humanoid robot at its AI Day 2022 today, and Elon Musk believes Tesla can bring it to market for “less than $20,000.”

As expected, the event kicked off with Tesla unveiling a working prototype of its humanoid robot – a project first announced at Tesla’s AI Day in 2021.

Two prototypes were unveiled at the event.

Tesla started by revealing the Bumble C, which is the first version of the bot, and it was developed with “semi off-the-shelf” actuators. It served as a test bed for Tesla’s first robot developed with internal parts.

Here’s a photo of Bumble C walking on stage at the event:

Tesla unveils its humanoid robot for ‘less than ,000’

It didn’t do anything impressive on stage, but it managed to walk around and wave to the audience.

Tesla showed some videos of the robot performing some tasks in a controlled environment to demonstrate some level of usefulness.

The automaker even showed the robot performing a task at an actual workstation at the Fremont factory.

But after Bumble C, Tesla brought the first generation Optimus robot to the scene.

The reason Tesla didn’t lead with it and show an earlier and rougher prototype is that it couldn’t actually get the new one going yet.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the new robot should be able to walk in the next few weeks, but he wanted to show it today since it looks more like the version of the robot that will be in production:

It also couldn’t do much on stage other than wave to the audience and had to be carried by Tesla employees.

Musk noted that this version was equipped with Tesla-designed actuators, battery pack and power electronics.

Tesla revealed that it had the first prototype in February 2022, which led to this new version which is now supposedly on the way in the next few days.

Tesla shared some specs of the Optimus, including a 2.3 kWh battery pack, which the automaker claims should be good for about a day’s work.

As Tesla announced last year, it’s also equipped with the same “self-driving computer” inside Tesla vehicles:

After the presentation on the specifications and main features of the bot, Tesla continued with a more in-depth presentation on the robotics and AI approach to developing it.

Again, Tesla’s AI Day is all about recruiting, and Tesla is basically showing what it’s working on to attract talent that will be interested in those details.

On a consumer level, Musk highlighted the fact that while people have seen plenty of impressive humanoid robots before, he insists Tesla’s effort is different because it’s focused on developing a robot that can be produced in high volume — as opposed to the one-off projects we’ve seen in the past .

Furthermore, Musk said that Tesla’s advantage is that the bot will be powered by AI, which is primarily developed for self-driving technology. He believes Tesla will be able to leverage this work to enable the robot to navigate the real world and perform useful tasks.

The CEO reiterated earlier comments about how Optimus can bring a “fundamental change to civilization as we know it” by virtually “ending poverty” through improving economic output when used in industry.

He believes the robot should cost “less than $20,000” to make. He did not update the timeline for production, but he previously said Tesla planned to start production as soon as next year.

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