Tesla CEO Elon Musk showcased his much-touted humanoid robot “Optimus” at the electric vehicle maker’s “AI Day” event on Friday.
The billionaire has said a robot business will be worth more than its cars, hoping to expand beyond self-driving vehicles that have not yet become a reality despite his repeated promises.
A prototype of the robot walked on stage and waved to the seated audience. A video of the robot carrying a box, watering plants and moving metal bars in the automaker’s factory was shown.
“Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” Musk said at the event at a Tesla office in Palo Alto, California. “There’s still a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and prove it.”
Musk said currently humanoid robots were “missing a brain”, saying they don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by themselves, and they were also very expensive and made in low volume.
By contrast, he said, Optimus would be an “extremely capable robot”, to be made in very high volume – ultimately millions of units – and it was expected to cost much less than a car, at under $20,000.