Elon Musk’s presentation at this year’s Tesla Shareholder Meeting did not pass without mentioning the company’s humanoid robot, Optimus.
Tesla introduced the idea of making a humanoid robot around two years ago. Since then, the company is constantly sharing progress updates at major events like AI Day, Investor Day, and Shareholder Meetings.
Tesla Bot (Optimus) was the last item on Elon Musk’s presentation at the Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. Musk discussed Optimus in more detail compared to other products like the Cybertruck and the next-gen Tesla car which he went through briefly.
Tesla also shared a video of the Optimus development progress before Elon Musk’s remarks (watch below). This video shows Tesla Bot performing various maneuvers inside the company’s robot lab and around the Fremont factory.
The interesting thing about Optimus is not just the improvements in its maneuverability, Tesla now has multiple prototypes of the robot. We can see at least 5 Tesla humanoid robots in the progress update video above.
These Optimus bots moving in synchronization means that Tesla is able to control multiple robots simultaneously. Connected to the same neural network (NN), they are able to see the world similarly. But at the same time are able to perform tasks in sync and individually as well.
The Tesla Bot update video shows how Optimus is gaining new physical abilities with time. The Optimus robots we saw at the 2023 Shareholder Meeting are somewhat a middle version of Bumble-C and the Gen 1 Tesla Bot. Bumble C was the first working Tesla Bot prototype that the company showed at last year’s AI Day.
At AI Day 2022, the production-intent Optimus robot Tesla showed was not able to walk on its own. Instead, the working prototype Bumble-C demonstrated its abilities. In a period of a little more than 6 months, Tesla has significantly improved Optimus.
Tesla Bot has now gained physical abilities like walking, grabbing objects, sensing softer objects, and applying limited force using motor torque control (the egg demo in the video).
But the most important ability Optimus has is the Tesla Vision AI. It can discover and see its surroundings in the same way a Tesla car can. Because a Tesla Bot and a Tesla vehicle both are connected to the same neural network and have the same FSD computer installed in them.
So, what this means is that whatever a Tesla vehicle learns, Tesla Bot automatically acquires that ability. Ultimately, whenever Full Self-Driving (FSD) is achieved, a Tesla humanoid robot will also be capable of driving a Tesla car — and Elon Musk thinks it’s possible.
“As Full Self-Driving gets closer and closer to generalized world AI, that same software is transferrable to a humanoid robot, just like you know humans can walk around with their arms and legs but we can drive a car, fly a plane, steer a boat, ride a horse,” Elon Musk said during his Tesla Bot presentation.
“If you have a generalized understanding or if you have generalized real-world AI, which is what we’re developing for Full Self-Driving, it can be transferred to basically anything,” Musk added to emphasize the significance of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), the goal of Tesla with FSD cars and the Tesla Bot.
Elon Musk thinks that the majority of people today are not able to comprehend the impact of a humanoid that is equipped with generalized AI or AGI.
In his last Tesla Bot presentation at AI Day 2022, Elon Musk explained that the humanoid-to-human ratio can exceed 1:1. He also pressed this at the Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. He said this ratio can even exceed 2:1 (a human owning 2 robots).
If this happens in the future, the number of humanoid robots will exceed the human population, at least in Musk’s hypothesis it will. Here’s what he said in his talk:
If you have had a generalized humanoid robot, what would be the effective ratio of humanoid robots to humans? Because I think basically everybody would want one and people would want more than one. Which means the actual demand for something like Optimus, if it really works which will, is, I don’t know, I mean 10 billion units.
It’s some crazy number, it might be 20 billion units if the ratio is 2:1. A number vastly in excess of cars, so my prediction is that Tesla’s long-term value will be Optimus and that prediction I’m very confident of.Elon Musk at 2023 Tesla Shareholder Meeting
There is just one precaution we need to have with AGI and humanoid robots, and that is to not end up with a Terminator scenario.
“Now, obviously, we need to make sure that we don’t have a Terminator scenario, that’s very important. It’s all fun and games until Terminator shows up,” Elon Musk said.
Let us know your thoughts on humanoid robots and the future of humanity — in the comments section below.
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