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Tesla Bot: Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s Humanoid Robot

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday unveiled a humanoid robot called the Tesla Bot that runs on the same AI used by Tesla’s fleet of autonomous vehicles. A functioning version of the robot didn’t make an appearance during Musk’s reveal, though a slightly bizarre dance by a performer dressed like a Tesla Bot did.

The unexpected reveal came at the end of Tesla’s AI Day presentation, with Musk providing few details about the Slenderman-like Tesla Bot outside of a few PowerPoint slides.

On the company website, Tesla says, its idea is to “develop the next generation of automation, including a general-purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring.” Tesla on its website also notes that it is seeking technical, electrical, controls, and software engineers “to help us leverage our AI expertise beyond our vehicle fleet.”

Tesla says it plans to build a humanoid robot to perform basic tasks, such as wrenching on cars or making grocery runs. It’s part of the company’s broader ambitions in automation, which include building its own computer chip, dubbed the D1, to power the networks for vehicles it hopes to one day make self-driving.

The company was touting hardware such as its Full Self-Driving computer and computer chips, which it says could be integrated into a robot. Tesla said the robot would be outfitted with a screen, Tesla’s Autopilot system consisting of eight cameras and the company’s Full Self-Driving computer.

Tesla’s driver-assistance systems have come under scrutiny recently from industry rivals and federal safety investigators concerned about their rapid deployment on public roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation last week into Tesla’s driver-assistance suite, known as Autopilot, following nearly a dozen crashes involving parked emergency vehicles where the system was engaged. Musk has expressed confidence, however, that Tesla’s cars will one day be able to drive themselves.

Musk, acknowledging the concept was in its very early stages, said the robots would have a personality of their own. Nonetheless, he said, humans need to be prepared for robots to perform menial tasks and ultimately work alongside humans — if not phase them out of the workplace.

In the mock-up Tesla showed, a white-clad robot was outfitted with sensors. It would be “built by humans, for humans,” according to the slide. The robot could deadlift up to 150 pounds and would travel at a speed of 5 mph.

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Astitva Patle
Astitva Patle
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