The robots that conquered Fremont: Watch 'em making Teslas

Summary:Arms chuck around cars as if they were chiclets, at a California Tesla plant that also deploys people and backwards baseball hats. Modern manufacturing in a lively video that hits your Delta Spot.

Obedient worker, and versatile too. This robot does seats as well as windows at the Tesla factory.


It's amazing what 160 robots can do. Get 'em together with 20,000 pounds of aluminum coils, and the next thing you know, you have a car.

That's what happens at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, where robots ranging in size "from teeny little ones to huge ones" can unroll sheets of metal, stamp them, and paint them into electrically-powered Tesla S sedans within three to five days, according to Gilbert Passin. He's Tesla's vice president of manufacturing who appears in a lively video that Wired magazine posted from inside the plant, on YouTube.

To help you believe, watch it below. You'll marvel as robots (the huge ones) chuck around cars as if they were chiclets. Some are even so versatile they do seats as well as windows!

Get excited as you watch the "marriage" of underbodies with front ends, brought to you by Tesla body center manager Eric Purcell. You'll ogle over the "five different joining methods," all there on graphic display: adhesive; self piercing rivets; cold level transfer; conventional resistance welding; and yes, yes, yes, the new Delta Spot welding system!

It's the pinnacle of automation full of lasers and half-built cars that guide themselves around on magnetic strips. It includes 3,000 humans too. Apparently backwards baseball hats maximize their productivity.

Whatever it takes! See for yourself:

Video from Wired via YouTube. Photo is a screen grab from the video.

More Teslas on SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter.

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