Tesla showed a photo of roboarms, presumably created for the Optimus robot. The presentation of the robot is scheduled to take place on September 30, Tesla AI Day #2, which is scheduled for "a lot of interesting updates," according to Electrek.
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During Tesla AI Day #1, which took place in August 2021, the company introduced the development of unmanned driving, the Dojo supercomputer, and announced plans to create a Tesla Bot humanoid robot, now known as Tesla Optimus. AI Day #2 was supposed to take place a year after the first day, on August 19, but in June, Musk moved the event to September 30, noting that Tesla would be able to show a working Optimus prototype by then. A photo of the robotic arm suggests that work on the Tesla Optimus is indeed underway.
At the first AI Day, Elon Musk announced that the company intends to begin production of the robot in 2023. However, at the time, the project was seen mainly as a recruitment tool: the automaker was trying to beef up its AI team to create a full-fledged autonomous driving system.
A few months later, attention to the project grew. In January, Musk announced that Tesla is now prioritizing the development of the Optimus over some of its future vehicles. At a recent shareholder meeting, he reaffirmed that he believes the humanoid robot business will take precedence over Tesla's car business:
“I suspect that in the long run the Optimus will be more valuable than the car. It will turn the whole idea of economics on its head.”
Musk is counting on Optimus to solve the labor shortage and create a shift in the economy by cutting costs significantly. The robot will be trained to perform simple useful tasks or take on dangerous, monotonous and boring work. Tesla plans that over time the robot will improve and be able to perform a wider range of tasks, which will make it useful for both commercial and consumer applications.