This is Optimus inside: the Tesla robot presented by Elon Musk

It will probably cost less than 20,000 dollars and one of its functions could be “companion robot”.

Elon Musk has an undeniable calling capacity and when anticipating his new products he creates a huge dose of expectation that does not always correspond to reality. That is precisely what happened today at dawn during the presentation of Optimus , the new Tesla android that wants to gain a foothold in homes around the world.

Optimus could be the son of the androids from the movie I, Robot, with Will Smith and one of the members of the musical duo Daft Punk. He measures almost 1.73, has a body made of light black and white materials and weighs just 57 kilos. We say just because of all the technology that he carries inside him: cameras that allow him to monitor his surroundings. He also incorporates a brain, similar in processing and functions, to those carried by Tesla’s autonomous vehicles, only adapted to his height and speed, of about 8 km/h. It packs a 2.3kWh battery (we don’t know how long it can run or how long it takes to charge) and has Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity.

Optimus, the new darling of Tesla

Optimus, Tesla’s new spoiled girl PHOTO: Tesla

To this we must add 40 electromechanical joints: 12 in the legs, another 12 in the arms, 12 in the hands and 2 in the neck and trunk. He can lift up to 5 kilos with one arm , carry 25 kilos from one place to another and deadlift 75 kilos . Elon Musk’s idea behind Optimus is to go from “a robot on wheels to a robot on legs”, as could be seen in the presentation broadcast from the company’s offices in California.

The problem is that, as we anticipated, the physical presentation of the robot lasted just a few minutes in which he came out on the stage, took some somewhat clumsy and obviously mechanical steps and left. The rest of what we could see of Optimus was based on videos.

“The robot can do much more than what we have just shown you – Musk justified himself during the event -. We didn’t want him to fall on his face. So now we’re going to show you some videos of the robot doing a bunch of other stuff.”

It must be recognized that the difficulties that Optimus encountered are the same as those faced by the prototypes of Toyota or Sony, among others: the balance of a walking robot is something very complex to achieve. And the higher, the harder to get. Still, Musk is betting that the robot will walk normally in the coming weeks.

Optimus' hands are equipped with 12 joints.

Optimus’ hands are equipped with 12 joints. PHOTO: Tesla

“Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as soon as possible – explained the CEO of Tesla – and we have also designed it using the same discipline as our vehicles, that is, in such a way that it is possible to manufacture the robot in a high volume at low cost. and with high reliability. So that’s incredibly important.”

Precisely this is the basis of Optimus: he does not intend to create a robot of millions of dollars that has only 3 models.

Musk targets millions of robots for a price not to exceed 20,000 dollars.

“Very impressive demonstrations of humanoid robots have been seen,” Musk explained. And that’s great, but what are they missing? They lack a brain, they don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world on their own, and they’re also very expensive and low-volume. While Optimus is designed to be an extremely capable robot, but made in very high volume, probably millions of units, and expected to cost much less than a car. So I would say probably less than $20,000 would be my guess.”

Security was also discussed ” so that we don’t come up against a Terminator” and programming that makes it friendly and capable of learning from human behavior and routines. All these obstacles should be overcome, according to Musk, “in the coming months … or years.” The disturbing thing is that the applications of Optimus, mentioned by Musk himself, go from gardening, cooking or accompanying the elderly to “sexual companion robots”.

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