Tesla Bot: A concept humanoid robot embedded with Tesla's vehicle AI

Tesla expects to have a prototype of its concept robot ready sometime next year.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor
Image: Tesla

At Tesla AI Day, the company's CEO Elon Musk unveiled a concept humanoid robot that will be powered by the AI currently embedded within Tesla's autonomous vehicles.

Aptly named the Tesla Bot, details about the concept robot were limited, with presentation slides saying the Tesla Bot would be 5-foot-8 in height, weigh 125 pounds, and be "friendly".

Fleshing out how the Tesla Bot would be friendly, Musk said the robot will be designed so it can be "overpowered" by humans. The robot is expected to be able to carry 45 pounds, deadlift 145 pounds, and have a movement speed of 5 miles per hour.

Specs-wise, the Tesla Bot's head will be kitted out with autopilot cameras, eight in total, which are already being used by Tesla's vehicles to sense the environment. The head will also contain a screen for displaying information.

These cameras, along with 40 electromechanical actuators spread across the concept robot, will be powered by Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) computer.

Musk explained the decision to start work on the humanoid robot was not influenced by manufacturing needs.

"The robot is not prompted specifically by manufacturing needs. We're just obviously making the pieces that are needed for a useful humanoid robot so I guess we probably should make it. And if we don't, someone else would, so I guess we should make it [and] make sure it's safe," Musk said during the presentation.

On one of the presentation slides for the Tesla Bot, the company wrote the robot is aimed at eliminating the "dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks", with Musk providing an example of going to buy groceries.

"In the future, physical work will be a choice. If you want to do it, you can, but you won't need to do it," Musk said.

While the concept robot was unveiled at Tesla AI Day, Musk clarified it was not operational at the moment, but that a prototype was expected to be ready sometime next year.

This isn't the first time Musk has publicly shared big goals as the Tesla CEO last year said his company was close to providing "basic functionality" for delivering level 5 autonomous driving. 

"I'm extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly," Musk said at the time. 

Since making that claim, however, Musk has not provided any official updates about a level 5 autonomous vehicle. Instead, Tesla admitted in March to the California DMV that its self-driving software only has level 2 automation.

Another currently unfinished project that was unveiled at Tesla AI Day was Dojo, a supercomputer aimed at training cars to navigate city streets without human assistance. Expected to be operational next year, the Dojo will be powered by hundreds of Tesla-designed D1 chips. The D1 is 7nm silicon that has 362 teraflops of processing power and 10Tbps of on-chip bandwidth.

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