Elon Musk on Friday showed off the latest version of a humanoid robot that the world’s richest man says could one day eradicate poverty.
The prototype Optimus, mounted on a small platform, was presented at the annual Tesla AI Day presentation. The work-in-progress robot greeted the audience and raised its knees.
“Our goal is to create a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” said billionaire Musk, a technology pioneer, at an event in Silicon Valley.
“There’s still a lot of work ahead.”
The company’s engineers said during the presentation that Tesla is adapting its self-driving car technology to give Optimus things like walking safely or working in a factory.
Another version of the robot, built from off-the-shelf components rather than Tesla-made parts like Optimus, walked slowly across the stage, raising his fist and wiggling his hips slightly in time with the music, as if he were dancing. .
“The robot can actually do a lot more than we just showed, but we didn’t want it to fall on its head,” Musk joked.
Tesla is developing the Optimus robots for high-speed production, Musk said, which could bring their price down to less than $20,000.
“It signifies a future of abundance; A future without poverty, a future where you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services,” Musk said.
“This is really a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it,” he added.
Musk, who has previously warned of artificial intelligence as a threat to humanity, said Tesla wants to ensure a safe transition to a society where robots do the work and humans reap the rewards.
“We always want to be careful not to go down the Terminator path,” he warned, referring to the killer cyborg blockbuster and noting that Tesla is taking protective measures, including an auto-reset button. manipulate.
He said Tesla would start testing Optimus in factories, doing simple tasks like transporting parts, and the general public would be able to buy the robots within three to five years.
Musk argued that Tesla, as a public company, would be liable to its shareholders if they felt it was not socially responsible.
“It is very important that I cannot do what I want. Tesla’s structure is ideal for this. »
Musk was reprimanded by the Securities and Exchange Commission after posting a tweet in 2018 in which he claimed to have purchased funds to privatize Tesla but did not provide evidence or file with the SEC.
Musk is now embroiled in a legal battle with Twitter over his attempt to end a $44 billion deal he made to take the messaging platform private.
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