In a recent development, Tesla has introduced the Optimus Gen 2 humanoid robot, featuring upgraded Tesla-designed actuators and sensors, showcasing a refined design with a notable 30% increase in walking speed.
Initially met with skepticism due to an unexpected announcement by CEO Elon Musk and a less-than-convincing demonstration at Tesla AI Day, the Optimus Gen 2 aims to tackle repetitive human tasks, sparking interest in the potential economic replacement of human labour. Despite doubts about immediate feasibility, the concept of a versatile humanoid robot has gained widespread acknowledgement.
Tesla’s confidence in the project is rooted in its expertise in AI for self-driving cars, as well as its advancements in battery and electric motor technology. Leveraging the concept that Tesla vehicles are essentially robots, the company seeks to adapt this technology to humanoid forms for task automation.
The project gained credibility after an update at Tesla’s 2023 shareholders meeting, where more advanced prototypes displayed the ability to perform useful tasks. A subsequent September update highlighted progress in training Optimus using neural networks for autonomous functions such as object sorting.
The Optimus Gen 2 boasts several enhancements, including a 30% increase in walking speed, a 10 kg weight reduction, and improved balance. While not breaking speed records, the robot showcased a balancing squat, and its redesigned hands promise both strength and precision.
Tesla’s deployment strategy involves initially utilizing the humanoid robot in its manufacturing operations before considering commercialization. Elon Musk, emphasizing the potential impact of Optimus, anticipates it becoming a significant contributor to Tesla’s long-term value, speculating a potential demand of up to 20 billion units.