“There’s still a lot of work to perfect Optimus and prove it,” said Elon Musk.
Musk said Optimus himself was judged to have not been able to solve the problem because it needed further development of its ‘brain’. However, Musk believes Optimus will be a smart robot that Tesla will produce in large numbers.
Tesla said the company had developed a prototype for the Optimus in February. Those early models could perform simple tasks, such as watering plants, carrying boxes, and lifting metal rods at a production station at Tesla’s California plant.
Representatives for Musk and Tesla acknowledged that there are many challenges for robots to be mass-produced and low-cost. The purpose of making Optimus is expected to be able to replace the role of humans in the workplace.
Other automotive companies including Toyota Motor (7203.T) and Honda Motor (7267.T) have also developed prototypes of humanoid robots capable of doing complex things.
But currently only Tesla is pushing for mass-marketing robots that can also be used in factory work.
The design of this robot will consist of a 2.3 kWh battery pack carried in its torso, a chip system, and actuators to move its limbs. This robot is designed to weigh 73 kg.
“It’s not quite ready to run. But I think it will run in the next few weeks,” Musk said.
Musk, who has previously spoken of the risks of artificial intelligence, said the mass launch of robots had the potential to “change civilization” and create “a future of abundance, a future without poverty”.