Tesla robot walks, but not complex jobs

Tesla robot walks, but not complex jobs

On Friday, during the company’s artificial intelligence event, an early version of Tesla Inc.’s projected Optimus humanoid robot walked clumsily onto a stage, turned, and waved to a delighted crowd.

But the rudimentary functions performed by the robot with exposed wires and circuits, as well as a later, next-generation model that had to be carried onstage by three men, were a far cry from CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a humanoid robot that could alter the world.

Musk informed the gathering, many of whom may be employed by Tesla, that the robot is capable of significantly more than what was demonstrated on Friday. He stated that it is very fragile and that “we simply did not want it to fall on its face.”

Musk argued that the problem with spectacular robot demos

Musk argued that the problem with spectacular robot demos is that the robots are “brainless” and lack the intelligence to navigate themselves, yet on Friday he provided little proof that Optimus was more intelligent than robots built by other firms and researchers.

AI expert Filip Piekniewski tweeted that the demonstration was “next level cringeworthy” and a “total and utter swindle.” He said that dropping would be a good test since this object would be falling a lot.

“None of this is innovative,” robotics specialist Cynthia Yeung tweeted. “Hire PhDs and attend robotics conferences at Tesla.”

Yeung also questioned Tesla’s decision to give its robot a human-like hand with five fingers, saying that “there’s a reason” why startup warehouse robots have pinchers with only two or three fingers.

According to Musk, Friday night was the first time the early robot stepped onstage untethered. He said that Tesla’s goal is to mass-produce a “very capable” robot for less than a car, which he thought would be less than $20,000.

Tesla displayed a video of the robot

Tesla displayed a video of the robot, which incorporates artificial intelligence that Tesla is testing in its “Full Self-Driving” automobiles, moving boxes and inserting a metal bar into what appeared to be a manufacturing machine. However, no actual demonstration of the robot doing the tasks was provided.

Employees informed the audience in Palo Alto, California, as well as those watching via live stream, that they have been developing Optimus for six to eight months. People will likely be able to acquire an Optimus “within three to five years.” Musk remarked.

Employees said that Optimus robots would have four fingers and a thumb with a structure like a tendon so that they could move like a human.

The robot is supported by enormous computers with artificial intelligence that track millions of video frames from “full self-driving” automobiles. They stated that similar computers would be used to teach robots tasks.

Experts in robotics didn’t believe Musk’s claims that Tesla was close to putting out hordes of humanoid home robots that could do “useful tasks” like cook dinner, mow the yard, and watch over an elderly grandmother.

Tom Ryden, the head of a non-profit business incubator called Mass Robotics, said that a humanoid shape and size isn’t always the best way to make a cheap and useful robot.

Tesla is not the only automobile manufacturer to explore humanoid robots.

Tesla is not the only automobile manufacturer to explore humanoid robots.

Asimo, which resembled a life-size space suit and was shown in a carefully-orchestrated presentation to be able to pour liquid into a cup, was unveiled by Honda more than two decades ago. Hyundai possesses a collection of humanoid and animal-like robots as a result of its 2021 acquisition of Boston Dynamics. Ford has teamed up with the Oregon business Agility Robotics, which manufactures robots that can walk and lift packages.

Ryden stated that carmakers’ research into humanoid robotics could lead to machines that can walk, climb, and overcome obstacles, but that past dazzling demonstrations have not resulted in a “real usage scenario” that matches the hype.

“They are gaining a great deal of knowledge by understanding how humanoids operate,” he said. However, in terms of having a humanoid as a product, I’m not sure if it will be released anytime soon.

Years ago, critics said the same thing about Musk and Tesla: that they wouldn’t be able to make a profitable battery-powered car company.

Tesla is testing “full self-driving” vehicles on public roads, but they must be constantly watched by owners who are prepared to act. The business estimates that there are approximately 160,000 test-software-equipped vehicles on the road today.

Critics assert that Teslas, which relies on cameras and powerful computers to drive autonomously, lack sufficient sensors for safe operation. U.S. safety officials are investigating Tesla’s less competent Autopilot driver-assist system with the same camera sensors for braking without cause and frequently colliding with emergency vehicles with flashing lights parked on highways.


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