Tesla’s prototype Optimus robot is real and we’ve just seen it

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a prototype of a humanoid robot called Optimus. Contrary to previous announcements about the project, this one was real—no one walking around in a suit.

Musk said the robot will cost “probably less than $20,000,” though as has been the case with its cars, we’ll have to wait and see if it actually pans out.

Tesla and Musk in particular have a history of making price claims that don’t always correlate well with what actually happens.

For the robot itself, edge At the unveiling, it was reported that Musk wanted Tesla to build millions of robots while other competing companies advised not to set up for it.

He claims that the difference between Tesla’s design and other “very impressive humanoid robot demonstrations” is that Tesla’s Optimus is capable of mass production in “millions” of units. As he spoke, a group of workers carried a non-walking prototype offstage behind him.

While Musk showed a running prototype, it wasn’t complete and didn’t have an outer shell installed. Musk showed off a finished prototype, but it wasn’t fully functional. Notably, Musk also claimed that the functional robot shown to the crowd was only built in the last six months.

As for what the Mask robot hopes to do, it looks like it may be destined to replace some of the jobs people do.

“It will be a fundamental transformation for civilization as we know it,” Musk said. He went on to say that Optimus has the potential to improve economic output by “two orders of magnitude”.

As for timing, Musk said production could begin as soon as next year. But, again looking at Tesla’s history with cars, it seems optimistic.

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