Tesla teased its Optimus humanoid robot prototype with a new image, ahead of a full reveal planned for September 30. Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk announced “Tesla AI Day #2” with “lots of cool updates” on August 19. The original “Tesla AI Day” held last year was an event focused on the company’s autonomous driving program. The automaker also unveiled its Dojo supercomputer and announced plans for the humanoid robot “Tesla Bot” – now known as Tesla Optimus.
AI Day #2 was supposed to be held a year after the first, but Musk took to Twitter in June to push the event back to September 30th to get an Optimus prototype. Now at Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting, Musk has released a new image of the Tesla Optimus to promote the upcoming AI Day #2 event. The image appears to feature the robotic hands of the actual Tesla Optimus prototype.
The CEO even said that the company intends to start production of the robot in 2023, which surprised many. This is an extremely ambitious timeline for such an ambitious project, but Musk has said on multiple occasions that it has become a priority.
In January, the CEO said that Tesla is prioritizing product development of the Optimus humanoid robot in 2022 over other products. At today’s event, Musk reiterated again that he believes the humanoid robot business should become bigger than Tesla’s automotive business: “I suspect the Optimus will be more valuable than the car in the long run. It will turn the whole notion of economics upside down.”
The CEO previously stated that Optimus can be a solution to the labor shortage and create a shift in the economy to significantly reduce costs. Tesla plans to leverage its existing expertise in power electronics and batteries for electric vehicles to build the robot and use its AI expertise to give it a brain.
At first, Musk said the robot would be programmed to perform simple, repetitive tasks, including in manufacturing operations like Tesla’s own. The company plans for the robot to improve over time and be able to perform a wider range of tasks that would make it useful for commercial and consumer applications.