Tesla Bot Creator Reveals New Details on Humanoid Robot

Elon Musk took the stage on Friday night to reveal more about the Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot that he had first disclosed at Tesla's AI Day event last month.

Musk had previously said the bot would be "friendly" and "helpful," and perform tasks that people might not want to do, like going to the store for shopping or picking up the dry cleaning. He also said the robot would eventually be capable of traveling with humans on Mars.

During Friday's question-and-answer session at Tesla's Gigafactory in Texas, Musk provided some additional details about the Tesla Bot's development and capabilities.

The Tesla Bot's development is "going well," Musk said, noting that the company hopes to have a prototype ready sometime next year. That timeline is an ambitious one for any complex robotics project, but Musk implied that the bot is a passion project for him, saying that he spends some of his weekends working on it.

When asked if the Tesla Bot will be able to cook, Musk responded that it would be capable of basic chores and other tasks like frying eggs or Not mentioned in the article. the bot will be able not only to visit the grocery store but also actively participate in cooking meals. cooking, Musk demurred, saying that the bot wouldn't be a master chef right away.

"If you want a tasty burger, you want a chef who has tasted a lot of burgers and knows how they should be made, finely tuned," Musk said. "So it will take a lot of work for the robot to taste the burgers and learn how to make a really tasty burger, but eventually, it will be able to make a burger that is just like what you would get at a restaurant."

Musk also indicated that the Tesla Bot will be able to navigate through a complex environment, like a city street, relying on navigation and vision systems that are still in development. The robot would be able to recognize and avoid obstacles and navigate through four or five stories' worth of a city's complexities, Musk claimed, though he didn't provide a specific timeframe for when the bot would be able to do so.

That degree of autonomy would be a feat and mark a significant advancement in robotics, experts say. John Lenyo, a professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, noted that even robots like Roombas that navigate through a home rely on relatively simple sensors and don't recognize objects as such.

"If you can do this in a manner that's reliable and robust for a human-scale robot in an urban environment, that is an amazing technological advance," Lenyo told NPR. "That is extremely difficult. That is basically the holy grail of robotics at the present time."

Musk has regularly emphasized the importance of a measurable safety metric for robots, and Friday's presentation was no exception. He repeated warnings about the dangers of rapidly increasing automation that displaces human workers and could lead to social upheaval, and he stressed the importance of ensuring that the Tesla Bot is safe.

"I think the important thing is that we should think of these robots as people, not as robots," Musk said. "They are, in the future, organisms that are not biological, but nevertheless, they are organisms in the full sense of the word. And we have to treat them with dignity and respect, and if we don't do that, we will have a bad outcome."

Musk didn't provide many specifics on how the company plans to ensure the Tesla Bot is safe, though he did indicate that there would be multiple ways to turn it off in the event of malfunction or misuse. And he laughed off a question about the bot rising up against humans, Quizzed about the potential for the robot to gain consciousness and turn against humans, Musk laughed and said "That's not gonna happen."

Instead, he framed the robot as an opportunity to advance the field of AI: "If you have a liking for robots, I would encourage you to think of this as kind of the advancement of the species, kind of the biological aspect of humanity moving forward."

That advancement could also further enhance Tesla's reputation as an AI and robotics company, not just an automaker. Musk noted that the Bot would run on a version of the company's Autopilot software and its onboard computer, which could enable more sophisticated capabilities over time.

"We're gonna make a pretty amazing robot," Musk said. "I think it's gonna be a general favorite, and it will be a reflection of Tesla energy in that it will be optimistic, positive, helpful, caring, and friendly. That's the essence of Tesla."

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