San Francisco: Tesla CEO Elon Musk blames overreliance on factory robots that sent the electric carmaker into “production hell” four years ago. He said humans are better at certain jobs and that this was a result of being too dependent on them.
According to job postings, Musk’s Texas-based company is now planning to deploy thousands upon thousands of humanoid robotics called Tesla Bot or Optimus in its factories. This will allow it to expand to the millions worldwide. According to a source familiar with the matter, there is a buzz within Tesla as it holds more internal meetings about robots.
Musk believes that the robot business will eventually be worth more than Tesla’s car revenue. He is currently promoting a vision for Tesla that includes self-driving electric cars.
Musk announced that Tesla would unveil a prototype of its project Optimus at its “AI Day”, on Sept. 30. This is a reference to the powerful, benevolent leader in the Autobots’ Transformers series. He said that production could begin next year.
According to robotics experts and investors interviewed by Reuters, Tesla is being questioned about its ability to demonstrate technological advancements that justify the cost of robots for general purposes in homes, factories, and other places.
Tesla already has hundreds of robots that are specifically designed to do specific jobs in the production of its cars.
Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co.’s Boston Dynamics unit have been working on humanoid robots for many decades. Robots are unpredictable, just like self-driving vehicles.
“Self-driving cars were not as simple as people thought. It’s the exact same with humanoid robotics to some degree,” Shaun Azimi, the leader of NASA’s Dexterous Robotics Team, told Reuters.
It is difficult to be flexible and resilient when something unexpected happens.
Musk made a promise to 1 million robotaxis in 2020 at an “Autonomy” event in 2019, but has yet to deliver such a vehicle.
Musk’s robots might be able to demonstrate basic capabilities during the event, but it would not be easy for them to impress public expectations about robots as capable as humans, experts suggest.
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