Elon Musk prefers to have an one focus, and it appears that robots will be his focus this year. On a Tesla earnings call, he told investors that his fledgling robot ambitions had “the potential to be more substantial than the automotive company, over time.” And they’d be the most crucial projects for Tesla this year.
The robot in issue, which is part of a project called Optimus, was showcased last year by a human in a robot costume dancing on stage, which raised some concerns. The performance went viral on the internet.
Musk indicated at the event last August that the Tesla Bot would use the same artificial-intelligence (AI) algorithms that helped power Tesla automobiles, although no prototype has yet been created.
He also stated that the 5ft 8in robot, which has yet to be developed, will have a screen on its “face,” be able to lift 150 pounds, and travel at roughly 5mph.
Shortages of workers
Musk told investors this week that the humanoid robot’s first application will be “moving parts around the factory, or something like that” at a Tesla plant. However, he views it as a future solution to labor shortages.
“Tesla AI might play a part in AGI [artificial general intelligence], given that it trains against the outside environment, especially with the introduction of Optimus,” he tweeted earlier this week.
A machine’s ability to acquire or understand tasks now performed by humans is referred to as artificial intelligence (AI). Musk has already stated that artificial intelligence poses a threat to human civilisation.
“Decentralised control of the robots will be important,” he wrote in the same Twitter thread.
“Narrow intelligence,” according to Alan Winfield, a professor of robot ethics at the University of West England “The gastrointestinal tract is a particularly difficult issue. “The notion that you can solve AGI because you built a self-driving car is ridiculous. Even if the car is extremely capable, it is not AGI; rather, it is high-functioning limited intelligence.”
“Google and Facebook have hired some of the top AI minds in the world, and Musk’s claim that he can come in and solve the problem is quite arrogant.”
Tesla AI might play a role in AGI, given that it trains against the outside world, especially with the advent of Optimus
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 19, 2022
Musk, on the other hand, enjoys tackling difficult challenges, from self-driving cars to journeys to Mars, and has a track record of achievement. SpaceX’s reusable rockets, for example, are largely recognized as a significant stride forward in space flight.
However, earlier attempts to develop low-cost mass-market humanoid robots have failed.
To the dismay of the academic community, Japanese company Softbank stated in June that manufacturing of Pepper, a nice tiny humanoid, had been suspended and would resume only when the robots were needed. According to the International Federation of Robotics, robots are becoming more common in companies around the world, with an average of 126 robots per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing business.
Many, however, were skeptical of Musk’s ideas.
Filip Piekniewski, a software developer at Accel Robotics, tweeted: “Anyone who believes Tesla is working on a humanoid robot is living in a parallel universe.
“Mars bases are a better bet than the bot.”
Tony Prescott, a professor of cognitive robotics at the University of Sheffield, told BBC News that Mr Musk would confront numerous obstacles. “If it’s for a factory, a wheel-based robot would be considerably easier to build and have no balance issues – but it wouldn’t be humanoid,” he explained.