Musk has revealed a production timetable for the Tesla Optimus project, which is developing a humanoid robot capable of doing common tasks. This is the first time that Musk has disclosed such information. He anticipates being able to put the ambitious notion into production as early as next year, according to the company’s CEO. Even by his own standards, this is an incredibly ambitious schedule.
During Tesla’s AI Day last year, Elon Musk said that the firm could reach the “Tesla Bot” goal by leveraging existing work and pieces from the development of self-driving technology and that if they don’t build it themselves, then someone else will. In 2013, it didn’t seem to be a top priority for Tesla, and many believed it was simply intended to be used for recruiting purposes as the manufacturer looks to grow its artificial intelligence team in order to deliver its whole self-driving system.
After a few months, the project’s priority was raised to a higher level. Musk said that Tesla would prioritize the development of the Tesla Bot, also known as Optimus, in 2022 above the development of certain of its next-generation autos, according to Musk. This time, though, the CEO seemed to be much more enthused about the initiative and its potential to have an impact on the labor shortage and, eventually, on the whole economy. When the project was initially revealed, Tesla said that it aimed to have a prototype of the humanoid robot ready by the end of 2022, but there was no indication of when the robot would go into production.
Today, during the Tesla Cyber Rodeo event, Musk shared his manufacturing roadmap for the first time, and it is quite aggressive even by his high standards: “I believe we have a good chance of being in production for version 1 of Optimus probably next year.”
During the ceremony, Musk shared his thoughts on the Tesla Optimus:
It will fundamentally alter our understanding of what the economy is… It will be able to do almost any task that people are unwilling to perform. It is going to happen. It is expected to usher in an era of plenty. It may be difficult to imagine, but as you see Optimus evolve, and we will make certain that it is safe and does not include any Terminator-like elements, it will revolutionize the world to an extent much larger than the automobiles.
As the CEO’s passion for the initiative has risen in recent months, the timing of this announcement is appropriate.
Musk suggested in January that Tesla’s humanoid robot project might play a role in the eventual realization of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s AI director, indicated that he “believes ‘Tesla Bot’ is on pace to become the most powerful AI development platform.” A few weeks later, we reported on Karpathy’s comments. Apparently, it went from being something Tesla “may as well pursue” to a “world-changing enterprise” that is now a key priority at the firm in a short period of time.