A robot for everybody
The first prototype of the long-awaited Tesla robot has been shown. As already claimed, the humanoid called Optimus has some of the sensors and A.I. software you can find in Tesla cars.
As explained here, Musk’s expectation for this robot is to sell it for less than $20,000 hoping it will be mass produced in millions of units compared to other humanoid robots. And suddenly the movie “I, robot” comes into our minds.
During the presentation, his team showed a prototype of the robot without skin called “Bumble C” that walked forward and did a dance move. However, we didn’t see much of its capabilities but the company showed some clips of other robot capabilities such as picking up boxes.
Afterward, the team brought to the stage another prototype of the robot but closer to the version used for production, this time completely assembled but still not fully functional and not ready to walk.
It features Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity, a 2.3kWh battery pack, and a Tesla SoC. The robot’s joints, such as its hands, wrists, and knees, were the focus of demonstrations that illustrated how data for each joint was analyzed before looking for commonalities among designs to identify a technique that required only six distinct actuators. The “Biologically Inspired Design” of the human-like hands, according to engineers, will make them better suited for picking up things of various shapes and sizes and having a precise grip on minuscule components.
The Autopilot software from Tesla was transferred from its cars to the bot and redesigned to work in the new form and setting. Tesla’s motion captured humans performing real tasks, like lifting a box, and also made Optimus replicate the movements using inverse kinematics. “Online motion adaptation” is used to reduce the rigidity of these activities and enable them to be adjusted to account for an unstructured environment.
“It’ll be a fundamental transformation for civilization as we know it”, said Musk. He goes on to argue that Optimus may potentially increase economic output by “two orders of magnitude.”
However, Musk urged his followers not to expect the prototype to resemble the glossy black-and-white depiction first displayed at the event last year. Anyway, it may eventually become more important than the automobile company.
Future uses might involve cooking, gardening, or even sex partners, according to Elon Musk, who also stated that production may begin very soon.
Experts in robotics cautioned against placing too much stock in Musk’s promises in the days before AI Day. They pointed out that other companies are significantly more advanced in creating robots that can run, jump, and walk, but none of them are claiming to be near to displacing workers.
Undoublty many expected more from this robot if compared to other companies like Boston Dynamics’ Atlas or the discontinued Honda’s Asimo, while its black head may look a little disturbing. However, its moves look smoother than those of Xiaomi’s robot. Anyway, robot production is still in its infancy if you think about where A.I. is going. We don’t know the evolution of this robot but it will probably be one of the first to enter our homes.
Will robots replace human labor?
When it comes to robots, the first topic that comes out is human labor. However, it’s strange that people fear losing repetitive and boring jobs instead of thinking of a more fair society where we are less overwhelmed by a job that doesn’t improve us or we simply don’t like. If robots could replace those jobs we could focus on more creative, pleasant jobs and avoid the more dangerous ones. But we should imagine a world where we work less and we’re less frustrated and where primary goods are guaranteed to everyone. Robots, for example, could be taxed to redistribute wealth. In the next future, we’ll need to work less and better not to work hard and help those who can’t work or lose their job. We need a system where everybody lands on their feet. It should be made easier work placement, even for self-employed people but nobody should fear losing a job because when you’re cut off there’s always help.