Tesla unveils its first working prototype of the Optimus robot

This time it is no longer a man in disguise. In his talk at Tesla AI Day 2022, Elon Musk showed off a real Optimus robot that can walk (slowly) in a straight line, change direction, and perform some upper body movements, including arms. We’re still far from the humanoid robot fantasy that Musk promised us a year ago, but in such a short time between the initial announcement and today, what Tesla has just achieved looks like a technological feat. Note that the Optimus is not connected to any cable, proving that Tesla has finally made significant headway in this regard.

Aware, despite everything, of the risk of disappointment for some observers – Elon Musk’s promises are only binding … you know the rest – the forward-thinking entrepreneur reminded that for now, Optimus remains a development platform, and that much remains to be done to achieve version 1.0. cousin of C-3PO. The visible innards of the machine are certainly less desirable than the sleek design of the project unveiled in 2021, but this “rough formwork” aspect paradoxically convinces of the seriousness with which Tesla approaches the robotics sector, never rounding corners here (which is not the case). to the Optimus announcement conference).

A second prototype was also presented, a little more “dressed”, but the latter could not walk alone and in the end seemed even less successful. Tesla starts from afar, and the inevitable comparison to the nimble robots of Boston Dynamics is especially brutal here. This harsh but fair remark should not make us forget that robotics is a long-term issue, and that the real realization of the goal imagined by Musk will probably not take shape in the next twenty years. As for Tesla’s goal of selling millions of these robots for $20,000 each, that’s a step up even further…and even further.

The presentation of Optimus was also annoying for a very different reason than its still-much-improving technology: many analysts actually figured that the humanoid robot was used by Elon Musk as a distraction from real problems. Tesla is indeed under investigation by the US regulator and is struggling to create a truly autonomous electric vehicle.

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