This is an evergreen article that covers every Tesla AI Day specific to Tesla Bot aka Optimus. While it would be cool if Optimus Prime, the Transformer, was an actual robot, Tesla Bot is not a Transformer. From a person dressed in a Tesla Bot costume to Telsa Bot walking untethered and mapping out a Tesla campus in only two years of development time, read on to discover all the incredible information about Tesla Bot, its iterations, its status, and what’s next. Enjoy.
What is Tesla Bot aka Optimus?
Meet Tesla Bot, affectionately known as Optimus, a groundbreaking humanoid robot brought to life by Tesla. First unveiled by Elon Musk at Tesla’s AI Day event in August 2021, this remarkable creation is designed to tackle tasks deemed unsafe, monotonous, or simply dull for humans – think heavy lifting, cleaning, or running errands.
Optimus boasts an impressive stature, standing 5’8″ tall and weighing in at 125 pounds. Its humanoid form is complemented by a screen face, displaying vital information. Outfitted with cameras, sensors, and cutting-edge AI technology, this robot adeptly navigates and interacts with its surroundings.
What’s under the hood? Tesla Bot is driven by the same AI technology propelling Tesla’s self-driving cars. Capable of being programmed for various tasks and remote control, this friendly, non-threatening robot can zip around at a top speed of 5 miles per hour.
While still in development and not yet available for purchase, Tesla showed the humanoid robot walking and mapping out Tesla’s campus at Tesla AI Day 2023. The company has even extended an invitation to developers, encouraging contributions to the robot’s software and programming evolution.
Tesla Bot – or Optimus, if you prefer – heralds an exhilarating new chapter in robotics and AI. Its advanced technology and diverse potential applications hold the power to transform our lives and reshape the way we approach work and play in the future.
The latest updates on Tesla Bot
Get ready for the latest scoop on Tesla Bot, straight from Tesla’s 2023 Annual Shareholder Meeting (53:25-58:40) held on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Elon Musk unveiled a captivating video of Tesla Bot strolling independently through an office, alongside multiple Tesla Bots navigating what appears to be a maintenance warehouse (or a gigafactory) filled with the upcoming Cyber Trucks.
But that’s not all! The demonstration also showcased motor torque control, Tesla Bot’s remarkable ability to explore and memorize its surroundings, and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at an engineer training the AI. Sporting a unique backpack, headset, and modified gloves, the engineer’s every move is mirrored by the AI, powering Tesla Bot’s actions. As the engineers work tirelessly to perfect end-to-end manipulation and joint angles, Musk revealed that Tesla designed all motors and actuators since the necessary technology didn’t exist yet.
Musk pondered the future, asking, “What would be the effective ratio of humanoid robots to humans? I think everyone would want one, and maybe people would want more than one.” He predicted that if Optimus works (and he’s confident it will), the demand could skyrocket to a staggering 10 or even 20 billion units, with the possibility of two Tesla Bots per human!
What happened on Tesla AI Day 2022?
During Tesla AI Day 2022 (14:00-58:00) on September 30, Musk showed Tesla Bot in a form factor not yet seen before. Tesla Bot walked out on stage, waved to everyone, and even raised the roof (not literally)! Musk said “This is the first time the robot has walked without tether” during the event. Remember, when Tesla Bot was announced, it was a human wearing a costume that resembled what Optimus could potentially look like.
But what we see during the Tesla AI Day 2022 event, doesn’t look anything like someone dressed in a costume. Musk shows a video of a Tesla Bot picking up a Tesla-branded box, walking through a maintenance warehouse (or a gigafactory), then through an office with people working (appears to be programmers as some of them have large monitors with code), all while tethered. While Tesla Bot picks up the box and places it on a desk, it shows the bot’s rendered view. Then you see Tesla Bot moving parts in what looks like a Tesla factory.
What you see initially is Tesla Bot with semi-off-the-shelf components. Then the team brings out Tesla Bot with all Tesla-designed parts. The bot could not walk yet, but Musk claims its ability to walk is only weeks away. “We wanted to show you the robot, something that’s fairly close to what will go into production,” said Musk. “This is what we expect to see in Optimum Production Unit 1, which is to move all fingers independently, an opposable thumb so it can operate tools.”
Musk says Optimus will cost less than a car, around $20,000 per unit due to how Tesla designs its manufacturing process where they can produce millions of units quickly while maintaining high reliability. The Optimus team then discusses Tesla Bot hardware and software in detail. If you’re interested, the remainder of the video goes into Full Self-Driving (FSD) and its latest features.
The first Tesla AI Day 2021
Tesla Bot was announced at the first Tesla AI Day 2021 on September 30. The first two hours of the event were on Tesla’s FSD, its components, and how it uses AI. Starting at 2:05:21,
Musk says, “What we’re doing right now with cars, Tesla’s arguably the world’s biggest robotics company, our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels.” He adds, “With the Full Self-Driving (FSD) computer, the inference engine on the car, which will keep evolving, and DOJO, the neural nets recognizing the world, understanding how to navigate through the world, it makes sense to put that onto a humanoid form. We’re also quite good at sensors, batteries, and actuators. He claims Tesla will have a prototype sometime next year, referring to Tesla AI Day 2022. Tesla Bot is intended to be friendly and navigate through a world built for humans. It will be made to do dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks. You can run away from Tesla Bot should it get out of hand, and most likely overpower it.
The humanoid robot can carry 45 lbs, deadlift 150 lbs, and arm extend lift 10 lbs. It uses 40 electromechanical actuators including 12 in its arms, 12 in its hands, and 12 in its legs with only two in its neck and two in its torso. And get this, since it uses Autopilot, it has eight cameras! Essentially it uses all the tools Tesla uses in its cars.
Highlights from every Tesla AI Day and Tesla’s Annual Shareholder Meeting so far
Below is a chart showing the highlights from every Tesla AI Day. Of course, I’ll keep this updated with every event, including a chart on Tesla’s Annual Shareholder Meetings, located after the Tesla AI Day Highlights chart.
Tesla AI Day Highlights
|September 30, 2022
|August 19, 2021
Highlights of Tesla’s Annual Shareholder Meeting
|May 16, 2023
|Tesla Factory, Fremont, California
“The Annual Shareholder Meeting was a testament to Tesla’s continued growth and innovation. With impressive production numbers and plans for expansion, the future looks incredibly promising for the company.” – Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla
As Tesla continues to innovate in the field of artificial intelligence, we can expect more exciting announcements and advancements in the future.