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Tesla's Humanoid Robot Is Being Built to Mow Your Lawn

Elon Musk claims that the Tesla Bot may be widely available within a decade.

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Musk wants to free people up from “boring” tasks by designing a robot that can take them on instead.
Musk wants to free people up from “boring” tasks by designing a robot that can take them on instead.
Photo: Susan Walsh (AP)

The robots are coming...to relieve you of doing the dishes. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently revealed new details about Optimus, an artificial intelligence humanoid robot which he envisions will take over so-called “boring” tasks at your average household.

In a column for China’s Cyberspace magazine, Musk discussed the Tesla Bot, which the company ambitiously plans on launching this year. The bot will be about the same weight and height as the average adult, according to Musk, and will be designed to “carry or pick up heavy objects, walk fast in small steps, and the screen on its face is an interactive interface for communication with people.”

The main objective of the Tesla Bot will be to have the same capabilities as humans, essentially serving its owners and checking things off their to-do list. “Tesla Bots are initially positioned to replace people in repetitive, boring, and dangerous tasks,” Musk wrote. “But the vision is for them to serve millions of households, such as cooking, mowing lawns, and caring for the elderly.”

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The tech billionaire eventually wants these types of robots to be mass produced and widely available within a decade. “In the future, a home robot may be cheaper than a car,” wrote the richest person in the world. “Perhaps in less than a decade, people will be able to buy a robot for their parents as a birthday gift.” However, Musk is known for making bold statements about the future, and setting unrealistic timelines that are later delayed.

Earlier this year, Musk had stated that Tesla would be making Optimus the robot its top priority. The humanoid robot was first revealed in August 2021 during Tesla’s AI Day, in which a person dressed up as the robot to do a bizarre little dance. The bot runs on the same AI as the company’s autonomous vehicles, and is also outfitted with the same autopilot cameras to sense its environment.

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During the presentation, Musk reassured the crowd that the robot is meant to be friendly. But Musk has been known to warn people of the dangers of AI, calling it a “fundamental existential risk for human civilization” in 2017. However, he seems to think that the Tesla Bot will be the good kind of AI, and not the kind that would turn on its human overlords who have enslaved it to cook their dinner.