Just two years ago, Elon Musk had promised to release self-driving Tesla cars that could function as 'Robot Taxis'.
That has yet to see the light of day.
Elon Musk held another of its technical event about Autonomous Driving developments with Artificial Intelligence.
Musk revealed that Tesla is going to make a humanoid robot named 'Tesla Bot' that will be able to do your daily chores for you like picking up groceries for you and other daily boring tasks we do.
And no, this is not an April Fool's Day joke.
Musk announces plans to create a Humanoid AI-powered Robot- The Tesla Bot
Elon Musk stood on the side of the podium at Tesla's AI Day event as a person dressed as a Robot with a black helmet and a white skin-tight suit did a lock and pop jerky dance on the stage.
And just like that, Musk ushered us into a new realm of science fiction when he announced plans for a Humanoid AI-powered Robot- The Tesla Bot.
At the event, Tesla revealed details about its plan about developing its already present AI technology that powers its self-driving system to power these robots into being capable to do our daily tasks and much more.
Before the event, no one expected Tesla to take such a huge leap from self-driving cars to AI-powered Robots, even though there were rumours doing the rounds.
But it also goes without saying that it will take many years till we see the first prototype of the Tesla Bot.
There were many details shared about Tesla's roadmap with about 90 minutes of engineering talk about computer vision, data labeling, and neural networks.
Elon Musk said at the AI Day that Tesla wanted to show us that, " it's more than just an electric car company".
Musk said that Tesla is already way ahead when it comes to developments in Artificial Intelligence because of the strides it has already made in the self-driving system in the Tesla cars.
Tesla vehicles can already capture inputs from around it and thus understand its surroundings and act on that information.
Musk believes that it only made sense for the company to use their technology, improve on it and use them to power their Tesla Bots.
Details about the Tesla Bot, code name 'Optimus'
Optimus uses the same sensors and chips that Tesla's cars use for their self-driving features.
The humanoid robot will use the company's expertise with both the automated lineup of machines that they have in their Tesla factories that does the production and assembling of units, and the software and hardware Tesla uses to power its autopilot driver assistant software.
Tesla Bot's physical attributes and capabilities:
Optimus is 5 foot 8 inches tall much like an average human.
It has a screen on its head to display useful information.
The presentation by Tesla revealed that Optimus would have 'autopilot cameras' mounted on the Bot's head.
Tesla Bot's weight would be 125 pounds ( 57 Kg ), it would be able to lift weights up to 150 pounds ( 68 Kg ) and a carrying capacity of 45 pounds ( 20 Kg ).
It would have a movement speed of up to 5 mph.
Technology in the Tesla Bot:
A lot of the technology found in Tesla vehicles will be used in the Tesla Bot.
One of the main ones is going to be the FSD computer. These receive data from a similar set of sensors as used by the Tesla Cars.
There will be 8 cameras on the Bot to help it navigate around, grasping information from its surroundings and taking action.
The Robots are being developed with the collaboration of the well known Robotics engineer, 'Dennis Hong'.
Economic Impact of the Tesla Bot
The above pic is for illustration purposes only. It is not an actual image of a Tesla Bot
In a previous interview with the famous Youtube Marques Brownlee, Musk mentioned that Robots will have a profound economic impact in the future. He says that physical work will be a choice for people in the future.
Tesla aims to create robots that can replace humans in dangerous work environments like being a firefighter.
They also want to replace humans with tasks that are repetitive and boring tasks such as cleaning a house.
This way humans are made safer and a lot of manpower is saved.
What to expect and when!
The path Elon illustrates to be our future with robots is an exciting one.
Of course, there is the other side of the argument that asks, 'what if the robots take over?'
Elon subscribes to that view and has even mentioned previously that self-learning AI-powered robots are more dangerous than nukes.
To prevent Tesla Bot from being dangerous to Humans, Elon mentions that the bot is intended to be friendly and that the "company is designing the machine at a mechanical level so that you do have to be afraid of it."
"We certainly hope this does not feature any Dystopian Sci-fi movie", Musk joked as he acknowledges the downside of the evolution of AI-powered robots.
With the present details, Tesla Bot is an exciting new thing that Musk has revealed for our future. As it evolves to become an efficient machine, a lot of features in our lives could get automated.
Elon Musk says that a prototype will be ready by the end of 2022. Tesla has always missed their timelines when it came to product launches.
So I'd take that with a pinch of salt.
Musk will probably not meet his deadline and that the bot is just another one of Musk's promises a great idea with a long wait time.
Overall, this is a commendable new venture that Elon has forayed into. When we think of it, backed with an impressive AI technology that Tesla currently possesses, the robotics venture aptly seems to be their next step.
Let's now wait and watch for its launch.