After space and cars, Elon Musk goes into robots

Tesla is reportedly developing the prototype of an AI-powered humanoid robot skilled enough to replace humans in most strenuous physical work. It could be unveiled next year according to the optimistic timetable announced by Elon Musk.

Electric cars with Tesla, space missions with SpaceX, Internet for all via a giant constellation of satellites and now humanoid robots to replace humans in the most arduous physical tasks. Developing a robot prototype is Elon Musk’s intention and he mentioned this very subject during a day dedicated to AI at Tesla (Tesla AI Day). He even plans to present a first prototype called Tesla Bot, as early as next year. What we do know is that instead of the equivalent of a human face, we would find a screen displaying useful information. It would use the same chips as on the Tesla and could move in its environment thanks to a system of eight cameras.

These elements would not be different from those found on the cars of the brand. The robot would measure 1.77 meters and would weigh 56.6 kilos. It could carry a load of more than 20 kilos and would move at more than 8 km/h. So many details, which show that the preparation of the robot prototype is already well advanced.

A Tesla robot

But Elon Musk’s goal is not just to create a machine, he counts on it to lead an economic revolution. According to him, the humanoid robot should make it possible to replace physical work, so that it is really only a choice. With this system, it would be possible to generate a universal basic income according to him. He admits that it is not for tomorrow, because the capacities of robots are still far from those of human tasks. For now, they are operational for basic tasks in simple environments, or at home. But with the progress of AI, this could change.

Will the Tesla boss succeed in this project as he did in his other fields of expertise? Probably, but maybe not in the optimistic time frame he has set for himself. For example, the automaker is still stalling on the mass deployment of its autonomous driving mode for the Tesla. Its system is the subject of a safety investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, due to its involvement in several traffic accidents.