Elon Musk is building the robot helpers of our future.
The disruptive tech tycoon and noted sci-fi fan, who has developed self-driving electric cars, spaceships and brain chips all within the past two decades, just announced Tesla is working on a new humanoid robot designed to take on our “boring tasks.”
The Tesla CEO unveiled the Tesla Bot at the end of the automaker’s AI Day presentation on Thursday. Though a functioning robot didn’t actually make it to the stage, Musk did share a few renderings of the design. Typically, there was also a stunt accompanying the reveal which involved a person dressed as a robot dancing to EDM. Classic Elon.
The Tesla Bot, which looks kind of like a futuristic crash test dummy, will reportedly measure 5-foot 8-inches tall and is a fraction shorter than the average US man. Crafted from “lightweight materials”, the slender android will tip the scales at roughly 125 pounds and features 40 electromechanical actuators to help it move like a human. It can walk at speeds of up to 5 mph and carry up to 45 pounds.
According to Musk, the bot will run on the same AI that appears in Tesla’s autonomous vehicles, with its “brain” operating via Tesla’s Full Self-Driving computer. The head, meanwhile, will be equipped with the same autopilot cameras used in Tesla’s EVs to help with spatial awareness, as well as a screen to display “useful information.”
The billionaire emphasized that the Tesla Bot is “intended to be friendly” and pointed out that humans could both outrun and overpower the bot. As per the brand’s website, the Tesla Bot will also be “capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring.” Musk suggested it could even go to the store to get your groceries.
No stranger to hyperbole, Musk also waxed lyrical about the robot’s potential impact on the future of work, too.
“Essentially, in the future, physical work will be a choice,” he said. “If you want to do it, you can, but you won’t need to do it.”
So, when can we expect this robot workforce? Musk said a prototype should arrive “sometime next year.” He also tweeted a recruitment ad for the Tesla AI team with a video of the Tesla Bot and a message that read, “Join us to build the future of AI.”
If the Tesla Bot’s a success, perhaps we can all retire early.
Check out a video of the full AI Day presentation below. The Tesla Robot debuts around 2 hours and 6 minutes in.