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Elon Musk says Tesla may have ‘Optimus’ robot prototype within months

Tesla may have a functioning humanoid robot up and running within months, CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter(PHOTO: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Elon Musk says Tesla may have ‘Optimus’ robot prototype within months. (PHOTO: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images) (PHILIPPE LOPEZ via Getty Images)

By Katrina Nicholas

(Bloomberg) —Tesla Inc. may have a functioning humanoid robot up and running within months, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Twitter, as he postponed the electric carmaker’s second AI Day until Sept. 30 for that reason.

Optimus, first introduced in August 2021 during Tesla’s inaugural AI Day, is a human-sized robot Musk envisions will be able to perform mundane tasks like grocery shopping.

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Also known as Tesla Bot, the robotic humanoid will one day have “the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time,” Musk has said.

According to a presentation made during the 2021 AI event, Optimus will be around 173 centimetres (5ft’8) tall, weigh around 57 kilograms and have a carrying capacity of 20 kilograms. It will be controlled by the same artificial intelligence systems that Tesla is developing for use in its electric vehicles.

Essentially, in the future, “physical work will be a choice,” Musk said at the time. “Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotics company. Our cars are basically semi-sentient robots on wheels.”

Musk has a history of unveiling products that are merely prototypes, essentially selling a vision before it exists in reality. Regardless, his tweet that a prototype humanoid robot may be working by the end of September generated immediate interest, racking up almost 18,000 likes in a matter of minutes.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.