Humanoid Robots! Some humans have always been psyched with just a thought of it. Others try to explain how they will simply insert their solid metal hands inside our stomach, take our stomach out and swirl it around our neck till we choke on them. Like any other new technology, Humanoid Robots also enjoy a fair share of criticisms. But deep down we also know that they are inevitable. You know they are now coming soon when billionaires and giant companies like Tesla are now making them.
On AI day serial entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk unveiled his latest innovation called the "Tesla Bot". Tesla bot is a humanoid robot that can be used by people to execute everyday tasks such as picking up groceries. It runs on the same AI technology that Tesla uses for its autonomous cars like the Model 3, Model X, and more. People get easily scared by the idea of Humanoid Robots especially those that use Artificial Intelligence.
Clearing doubts on this concern Musk said “Tesla Bot has been built by humans, for humans. It is friendly and will help you with base chores like buying groceries or any other activity that is repetitive and boring,”. The company says: “it eliminates dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks.”
Here are some of its features-
- Height- 5'8"
- Weight- 125 lbs
- Speed- 5 miles per hour (which is pretty slow)
- Carry capacity- 45 lbs
- Deadlift- 150 lbs
- Arm extent lift- 10 lbs
- Lightweight material
- Human-level hand
- Friendly (phew! Thank god)
Why is Tesla making Robots?
If you think carefully, Tesla is already a robot company. There are two main fields to be excellent in to make robots. The first one is hardware and the second one being software. Tesla autonomous car is an excellent example to justify Tesla's expertise in both fields. Tesla cars are basically robots on wheels. So it makes sense for them to make humanoid robots. They are good with batteries, sensors, data processing, and learning from the data all thanks to Tesla cars, the exact expertise you need to make the best robots.
“Basically, if you think what we are doing right now with cars, Tesla is arguably the world's biggest robotics company because our cars are like semi-sentient robots on wheels. And with full self-driving computer essentially the inference engine on the car which will keep evolving obviously and all the neural nets recognizing the world, understanding how to navigate through the world, it kinda makes sense to put that onto a humanoid form. They are also quite good at sensors, batteries, and actuators. So we think we will probably have a prototype sometime next year that basically looks like this”, said Elon during his presentation.
Is it even realistic & when can we see them?
Musk says, “Well, we do not have humanoid robots that are actually useful yet. Don't get us wrong, we have seen robots in Japanese restaurants serving drinks or some Korean hotels greeting customers. But they are simple robots designed for one simple task. The usefulness of the Tesla bot for multipurpose as Elon said will remain to be seen. Can it actually go downstairs and grab my airpod from the drawer? Will it actually be able to go grocery shopping for me? We don't know.”
Talking about the delivery time, the company claims the Tesla bot may be launched by next year.
If Elon successfully manages to deliver what he is claiming, it would be great. But is there any other company already working in the same field? Let us talk about the competition of Tesla bot.
One of the most advanced robotics companies that we can recall is Boston Dynamics. They have plenty of the most advanced robots in their fleet. Atlas model could be the one competing with Tesla bot. Atlas already is a very advanced robot that can walk, dance, lift weights, do parkour, and whatnot. Currently, it is not available for the general public and they are not planning to do it anytime soon considering how powerful the robot actually is.
It would be interesting to see if Tesla can do with their Tesla bot what Boston Dynamics has already done with their fleet of robots, or would it?