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‘Complete and utter scam’: Musk’s new AI humanoid robot disappoints experts

Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot at AI Day 2022

On Friday, an early model of Tesla Inc.’s Optimus humanoid robot stumbled onto the stage as an audience, primarily made up of Tesla workers, screamed and applauded. The machine seemed to be dancing to the music as it waved its hand and swung its hips.

A modified Optimus that had to be pushed onto the stage and hoisted to a tiny pedestal where it waved and raised its knee was allegedly built using Tesla-made components. When the company’s artificial intelligence event was webcast to the general public hours later, many robot developers, AI specialists, and tech enthusiasts were dissatisfied by this restricted activity.

Tesla Robot
Tesla Robot – TESLA

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, explained the care and fuss at the occasion by saying, “The robot can really accomplish a lot more than we just showed you, we simply didn’t want it to fall on its face.” The tech mogul ignored robot demos by other businesses, claiming that they lacked a “brain” and so lacked the ability to move on their own. The competition, however, offered no proof that Tesla’s Optimus was better than its rivals.

Far from the objective

Musk said during the event that his goal is to create a robot that would ultimately cost “probably less than $20,000” (about €20,400) and be able to be manufactured “millions of times over.” In doing so, he said he wanted to create “a future of plenty” in which robots from Tesla would prepare meals, mow the yard, and take care of elderly relatives.

The wealthy entrepreneur informed the audience that his company’s objective was to create a usable humanoid robot as soon as feasible. “A lot more work still has to be done.” He said that he anticipates the robots will take a further three to five years to complete.

The humanoid’s AI is based on the same technology used by Tesla in its automatic driving systems, which trains itself using cameras, sensors, and a large number of photos. For six to eight months, the crew has been constructing the robots. US officials are looking into whether Tesla’s autopilot technologies are reliable, which has lately come into doubt. Five fatalities have been attributed to AI blunders, according to one US organization.

Tesla Bot
Elon Musk with the Optimus robot. Picture: Tesla/AFP

“Next level cringe-worthy” describes Optimus

Outside of Tesla’s own workers, not many were impressed by the display. Filip Piekniewski, who studies artificial intelligence, said that the robots were “full and total swindle” and “next level cringe-worthy.” Given that a robot will probably fall a lot, he claimed that a test fall would be beneficial and essential.


Cynthia Yeung, a different robotics specialist, emphasized that none of it was cutting edge.


Other professionals challenged Musk’s choice of a humanoid since it would make the robot significantly more costly and challenging to operate. According to Tom Ryden, head of the US-based nonprofit startup incubator Mass Robotics, “a humanoid sort of form and scale is not always the greatest solution when you’re trying to design a robot that is both economical and productive.”

Source: AFP/AP

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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