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Elon Musk Wants To Make Tesla Robots Bigger Business Than Its Cars
Elon Musk is known for setting big goals and then achieving them. This time around his goal seems to be taking the Tesla robot business to new heights. During a recent Tesla earnings call, he told investors that his robot plans have "the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business, over time."
So it goes without saying that robots will be at the forefront of development at Tesla this year. These robots are a part of the project Optimus announced last year. Dubbed Tesla Bot, the robot will come loaded with artificial intelligence systems that power the Tesla cars. However, the robot promised by Musk is yet to get a prototype.
He claimed that the yet-to-be-built robot will be of an average person's height and will come fitted with a display on its "face" along with the ability to lift around 68 Kg and move at 5mph.
Tesla Robot To Solve Labor Shortage
Elon Musk told the investors that the robot will be first used at a Tesla plant to move parts around the factory and perform other such tasks. However, in the coming year, Musk sees that robot as a help to solve labor shortages. Musk also recently tweeted: "Tesla AI might play a role in AGI, given that it trains against the outside world, especially with the advent of Optimus".
AGI means the ability of a machine to understand and remember tasks that were performed by humans in front of them. Musk has also gone on record to warn about AI risks of harming human civilization. In the same thread, he also said that "decentralized control of the robots will be critical."
Artificial General Intelligence Not Easy To Achieve
Experts believe that AGI could be a tough nut to crack. They suggest that cracking AGI won't be similar to creating a driverless car. But if the past tells you something it's the fact that Musk thrives in hard situations - from autonomous vehicles to ambitions of colonizing Mars, he has been the brain behind many such projects.
SpaceX's reusable rockets are considered to be a huge leap for space flights, bringing the cost significantly low. But previous efforts of building cost-effective humanoid robots have failed. Previously, Japanese company Softback had to halt the production of its little humanoid Pepper and would only start when there is a need for such robots.
That said, the use of robots has surged in factories across the globe, with an average ratio of 126 robots per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry, as per the International Federation of Robotics. But Musk could likely come across several challenges while creating these robots.
Tesla To Focus Only On Robots In 2022
Experts believe that keeping the robot upright could be the biggest challenge alongside deploying any kind of hand-eye coordination. Even robots like Boston Dynamics' Atlas which is regarded as one of the most advanced humanoid bots come across such issues.
Elon Musk's new focus on robotics might not go down well with all consumers, as in the same earnings call, Musk also said that Tesla will not be bringing any new car models this year. But, as everyone knows, Musk has a history of making ambitious promises. Only time will tell when Tesla humanoid robots will make it to the mass markets.