Elon Musk’s Tesla is poised to expand from fleets of electric cars to legions of humanoid robots.
The Texas-based company plans to deploy thousands of robots called the Tesla Bot or Optimus in its factories and elsewhere, Reuters reported.
Several job listings on Tesla’s website dedicated to the “humanoid two-legged robots,” or Tesla Bot, indicate that the company is likely to expand beyond factory robots. On September 30, Tesla plans to unveil a prototype of Optimus, its humanoid robot, after first unveiling it in August 2021 during Tesla’s AI Day.
The company hopes to go beyond logistics this time. Musk sees robots being used in households as “buddy” or “catgirl” sex partners.
“If you think about what we’re doing with cars right now, Tesla is basically arguably the biggest robotics company in the world because our cars are like semi-conscious robots on wheels,” Musk said at the announcement a year ago.
Tesla’s website lists the Tesla Bot as a way to achieve “fully self-driving and beyond” by benefiting from its artificial intelligence capabilities. The robots would perform “unsafe, repetitive and boring” activities.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In January, Musk told investors that the humanoid robots in Tesla’s factories would be used to “move parts around the factory or something.” He said Optimus robots have “the potential to become more significant than the vehicle business over time” and could even be the solution to labor shortages.
Musk made a lot of promises that didn’t come true.
Tesla’s Model 3 was slated to launch in 2017, and Musk made a proud promise to produce 200,000 Model 3s by the end of the year. It would have required the production of 5,000 cars per week, down from 3,500 at the time.
He planned to achieve this by investing in robots and the idea of ”the machine that builds the machine”.
That didn’t quite work out.
But whatever Musk did to meet its original production goal and improve the assembly line, including robots, landed the company in “production hell” by 2018. Musk also admitted that Tesla’s use of “fluff-bots,” robots that delegated basic tasks like placing fiberglass mats onto battery packs, was inefficient.
Tesla already uses robots in its production process. Many automakers, including Japan’s Honda, have attempted to build humanoid robots, but none have been commercialized.
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