Elon Musk Demonstrates A Prototype Humanoid Robot During Tesla AI Day

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and other AI and hardware team executives talked at the company’s 2022 AI Day, an engineer-recruiting event, on Friday night in Palo Alto, California.

Musk announced in August 2021, during the company’s final AI Day, that Tesla was developing a humanoid robot called the Tesla Bot or Optimus. When the firm didn’t even have a prototype ready, they sent out a dancer in a Tesla Bot spandex unitard to represent them.

Elon Musk Demonstrates A Prototype Humanoid Robot During Tesla Ai Day
Elon Musk Demonstrates A Prototype Humanoid Robot During Tesla Ai Day

This year, Musk and several Tesla staffers joined him on stage to demonstrate what they called a “rough development robot”: a bipedal humanoid robot that walked about and waved its hands. On stage in Palo Alto, the robot was reportedly seen moving around without the use of mechanical devices for the first time.

A group of Tesla-focused social media influencers were in attendance, and Musk began the presentation by saying, “We’re going to talk about the advancements in AI for Full Self-Driving, as well as how they apply more generally to real world AI problems like a humanoid robot and even going beyond that.” What we’re doing at Tesla has the potential to contribute significantly to AGI [artificial general intelligence].

And I think honestly Tesla’s a terrific entity to do it, from a governance sense, because we’re a publicly traded company with one class of ownership,” he continued. Since the public now has such sway over Tesla, I see it as a net positive. The fact that you can fire me if I lose my mind is crucial. Perhaps I’m not as insane as I feel.”

OpenAI is a company specializing in artificial intelligence that Elon Musk co-founded before leaving. A humanoid robot hand was able to solve a Rubik’s Cube with the help of neural networks developed by OpenAI in 2015.

Musk first proposed the idea of the Tesla Bot at AI Day 2021, saying, “It should be able to, please go to the shop and bring me the following groceries.” Musk later said that Tesla’s robots would be worth more than the company’s automobiles and that thousands of them would be employed in Tesla factories alongside people to produce automobiles and batteries.

On Friday, Tesla employees gave a presentation detailing their plans for the future functionality of the humanoid robot they are developing. The robot will be equipped with Tesla-designed actuators, which serve as the robot’s “muscles,” and adaptive robotic hands that will allow it to grasp and manipulate a wide variety of objects.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Milan Kovac serves as Director of Engineering for Autopilot at Tesla, and he has stated that the company’s experiences developing driver assistance systems for Tesla vehicles, in particular computer vision systems, are assisting the company in determining how to make a humanoid robot function in the real world.

Experts in robotics have argued Tesla doesn’t need a bipedal robot to improve automation in its plants, but Tesla workers spent Friday expressing their devotion to the human form. Workers also claimed they were developing a unique battery and actuators for their robots to minimize power consumption, allowing them to operate for an entire day without recharging.

Employees of Tesla’s Autopilot division discussed at length their efforts to render Tesla vehicles autonomous without installing any additional hardware.

The Autopilot group at Tesla initially used hand-annotated data to locate and name objects in the brief videos captured by the cars’ cameras and sensors. Road boundaries, lane markers, and overlapping objects like a pedestrian partially blocking a stop sign would all be labeled by a team of data scientists.

Using the annotated video footage, Tesla can train its neural networks and enhance its driver assistance systems, allowing its vehicles to move autonomously while still requiring human supervision.

Now that auto-labeling technology has been created, Tesla claims it can process 500,000 clips every day. A human is brought in towards the end to “finalize” the labels, but they get help from the automated system.

The numerous enhancements being made to Tesla-designed processors and data infrastructure were also extensively explored. They did not provide any information about when buyers may purchase a self-driving automobile guaranteed to be safe to use without a human driver in everyday traffic.

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