Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced during an AI event that the company would build humanoid robots in 2022.
Humanoid robots resemble the human body physically. They often serve functionality purposes, such as interacting with the human environment, house tools, and more.
At the event, Elon Musk unveiled the “Tesla Bot,” a 1.7 meter, 56-kilogram robot with a screen in place of a face to give and interact with information.
The humanoid robot would be able to dead-lift 68 kilograms and carry about 20 kilograms.
Though it will only travel about 8 kilometers per hour, it is designed to eliminate hazardous, redundant, and monotonous tasks while responding to voice commands.
According to him, the technology utilized in Tesla’s self-driving vehicles applies to humanoid robots and would serve as a great starting point.
“Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotics company because our cars are like semi-sentient robots on wheels,” he said. “It kind of makes sense to put that onto a humanoid form.”
Many arguments have risen since Elon Musk announced his intention to build robots.
Zhongyu Li, at the University of California, says he admires the vision but thinks the deadline is “very ambitious.” He expected Tesla to hit its target by demonstrating a prototype of some kind.
“Getting a prototype to walk for some short demos is not that challenging for their clever engineers, but getting humanoid robots to operate in daily life reliably is not an easy task. It will need reliable hardware, a robust control algorithm that can prevent the robot falling, recovering from a fall, detecting and avoiding obstacles, and these may take years,” he says.
Some believe the technology is possible but won’t be delivered on time as most of Elon Musk’s promised innovations fail to meet deadlines.
A few others are worried about the track record of Tesla’s self-driving technology. As remarkable as it is, It is proving to be less than fully reliable.
Crashes and fatalities have been associated with Tesla’s Autopilot mode – the most recent involved the algorithms struggling to recognize parked emergency vehicles, Thus calling into question the decision of releasing the tech into the world too soon.
This performance history doesn’t bode well for humanlike robots that rely on the same technology.
However, these malfunctions are not just a result of technological shortcomings; Tesla’s Autopilot setbacks are made worse by human behaviour.
For example, some Tesla drivers have treated their cars as fully autonomous vehicles and failed to pay sufficient attention to driving.
However, the question is whether something similar will happen with the Tesla Bot? Is it wise to use a humanoid in households where kids live?
Photo Credit – Tesla.com