Elon Musk unveils 'Tesla Bot,' a humanoid robot that would be made from Tesla's self-driving AI

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Elon Musk unveils 'Tesla Bot,' a humanoid robot that would be made from Tesla's self-driving AI
YouTube
  • Elon Musk said during Tesla's AI Day on Thursday that the company planned to build a humanoid robot.
  • The CEO said Tesla hoped to develop a prototype for the "Tesla Bot" by next year.
  • It would use the same AI systems that help power the company's Full Self-Driving system.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced during the company's AI event on Thursday that the carmaker would branch out into humanoid robots.

Musk unveiled the "Tesla Bot," a 5-foot-8, 125-pound robot that would have a screen where its face should be that would present information. According to the CEO, the humanoid robot would be capable of deadlifting 150 pounds and carrying about 45 pounds, though it would travel at only about 5 mph.

"We're setting it such that it is at a mechanical level, at a physical level, you can run away from it and most likely overpower it," Musk quipped.

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The bot would use Tesla's Autopilot software and have eight cameras to feed into the neural network it's developed for its Full Self-Driving software, Musk said.

The neural network is designed to help a Tesla vehicle analyze its surroundings, identify routes and images, and determine what to do when it encounters obstacles.

Elon Musk unveils 'Tesla Bot,' a humanoid robot that would be made from Tesla's self-driving AI
Behold, Elon Musk's Tesla Bot prototype. YouTube

"Our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels," Musk said, adding that "it kind of makes sense" to put the software "onto a humanoid form."

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Musk said businesses ideally would use the bot to perform repetitive and dangerous tasks. He added that the real test would be the robot navigating the world without being told explicitly what to do.

"It has profound applications for the economy," Musk said, adding that "in the future, physical work will be a choice."

The CEO offered a visual representation of what he wants the robot to look like, but Tesla hasn't built a functioning bot - he said the company planned to have a prototype developed by sometime next year.

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Musk said the robot fit seamlessly into Tesla's mission and would have many of the same materials the company uses for its cars.

Tesla is "making the pieces that are needed for a useful humanoid robot, so I guess we probably should make it," he said. "And if we don't, someone else will, and so I guess we should make it and make sure it's safe."

While Musk did not give a deadline for the prototype's release, he's previously made big promises about future builds. At Tesla's Autonomy Day in 2019, Musk said Tesla would have 1 million robotaxis on the road by the end of 2020. However, the company hasn't released a fully autonomous car, as its Full Self-Driving software still requires a licensed operator to monitor the vehicle.

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