Elon Musk and Tesla Face Skepticism Regarding Prospective Line of Optimus Robots

As EV manufacturer Tesla embarks on its plan for a line of robots called Optimus, Musk envisions increased automation in everyday tasks.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is reportedly looking to churn countless humanoid robots, known as Tesla Bots, or Optimus, within its factories. As the EV manufacturer embarks on this ambitious plan, it is weathering increasing skepticism about the practicality. According to reports, Tesla intends to make these robots available beyond the walls of its factories. Furthermore, inside sources state that the company is gaining internal traction on its robot agenda, and is having more internal meetings on the subject matter.

Proposed Tesla Optimus Robots Marks U-turn for Musk Stance on Robot Assistance

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been advocating for the use of automated assistance in recent times, in what is easily a U-turn from four years ago. Back then, the Tesla head cited overreliance on factory robots for the reduced operational outlook and scope of the EV manufacturer. In addition, Musk also emphasized that humans are better at certain jobs than robots. However, the Tesla CEO is now touting increased robot adoption for several use cases. At a media engagement, Musk cited some examples where fully automated assistance might come in handy. These include domestic home use, caring for the elderly, and even in personably intimate situations. It may also stand to reason that Musk’s robot agenda hints at an overarching vision for Tesla beyond its self-driving electric vehicle scope.

Musk said that Tesla will unveil a prototype from its project Optimus at its “AI Day” on Sept. 30th. However, the Texas-headquartered company faces skepticism that the technological advancements of its robots will justify its push for general-purpose use. Although Tesla’s robots may be capable of demonstrating basic capabilities, they would be hard-pressed to meet public expectations of human replacement robots. Nonetheless, as it stands, Tesla already has hundreds of task-specific robots in its employ at its car production factories.

According to Nancy Cooke, a professor in human systems engineering at Arizona State University, the Optimus robots must be different. Cooke says these robots will need to demonstrate multiple unscripted actions. She explains:

“If he just gets the robot to walk around, or he gets the robots to dance, that’s already been done. That’s not that impressive.”

However, Cooke believes that the Optimus robots adeptly proving themselves could boost Tesla’s stock. TSLA is currently down 25% from its 2021 peak.

Musk Hints at Sustained Robot Sentience Development

Musk is already proposing initial job descriptions for the Optimus robots. According to the Tesla CEO, Optimus will execute boring or dangerous jobs within the walls of its manufacturing plants. Musk also admitted that humanoid robots lack the sentient intelligence required to singlehandedly execute tasks in the real world. However, he also stated that Tesla can draw on its wealth of AI experience to produce smart, inexpensive robots at scale.

Tesla is currently looking to hire people to develop its humanoid robot agenda.

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Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.