Tesla Robot: News, Release Date, Features, and Rumors

A robot to do all the boring tasks you don't want to do

Unrealistic as it sounds (and might be), a humanoid robot that Telsa CEO Elon Musk says will one day be able to do "anything that humans don’t want to do," is apparently under development. The company calls the robot Optimus and is expected to show off the prototype this fall.

When Will the Tesla Robot Be Released?

The Tesla Bot was announced at the 2021 Tesla AI Day. As bizarre as it sounds to have a live-in robot at your disposal to perform "repetitive or boring" tasks for you, it sounds like this is a real product the company intends on bringing forward.

Tesla Bot concept
Tesla Bot concept.

Tesla

A huge indicator this is real—or, at the least, something they're committing to invest in—is they're actively looking for help making it. There are several job listings on Tesla's website for engineers, managers, architects, and more to work on the Optimus team, so unlike the Tesla Phone and other ideas that have remained concepts, this appears to be a project they're really considering.

And according to Elon Musk, a prototype might be revealed on September 30.

Assuming the Tesla robot is real and will be available one day, there's still no telling when that might be. Are Musk and the team behind the robot interested in bringing it to life? It looks that way. But even if they are, managing expectations about a real release is important.

Like many companies with grand ideas, Tesla has a history of pushing back launch dates and making it seem like a really cool product is just around the corner. One example of this is the Tesla snake charger advertised in 2015, which several years later, Musk is still saying we'll see one day.

But if it means anything, Musk is on record saying he's hopeful that production for the first version of Optimus will commence in 2023. Long term, Musk says the robot "will be more valuable than the car."

Release Date Estimate

Musk, at the 2021 Tesla AI Day event, said they'd probably have a prototype ready "next year," and his tweet from early June 2022 echos the same timeline. We'll go with September 30 for the first reveal, but we're skeptical a robot you can buy for your home is anywhere near ready.

Tesla Robot Price Rumors

A robot meant to do anything on its own, even if it's menial tasks its owner doesn't want to do, will obviously carry a massive price tag. What that will be hasn't been mentioned by Tesla, so we have no idea of even a rough price range.

But, if we had to take a wild guess, it'd be anywhere from a few to several thousand dollars, depending, of course, on whether there are different models you can choose from.

Pre-Order Information

It's far too soon to be talking about pre-ordering the Tesla Bot, but when that time comes, we'll provide the link here.

Tesla Robot Features

Very little has been revealed so far, since it's still quite early. Elon Musk says it'll be friendly and can be used to eliminate "dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks." In fact, if you watch the presentation, that's essentially all he says...those three words. So, how it'll be used is kind of still up in the air.

Some of the job offers we found say the robot will automate tasks for manufacturing/logistics, but during the event, Musk provided a second use case for home users, where it could be used to pick up groceries.

We can think of a few more examples. If it's used in an office, maybe it'll bring coffee from the break room into a meeting so an assistant can work on other meaningful tasks; or if there are paper reams in storage, the Tesla robot can be responsible for distributing them to the correct printers. When used at home, maybe it could mow your lawn for you, and water your garden.

The Tesla Bot is supposed to free up labor that you don't want to do yourself. Since we already have machines that help us do all kinds of tasks (think: vehicles, dishwashers, forklifts), where it'd really succeed is when AI is used. That way, it can learn and recognize what needs to be done, and then do it for you by completing those last-step actions (driving to the store to get something, loading the dishwasher, etc.).

Of course, a lot of these things are undoubtedly years away. Unfortunately, what we expect from the Tesla robot prototype, and maybe even a first edition, is a semi-human-looking machine that can move heavy things for you when asked. Or maybe it'll be useful enough to meet you in the garage to help you bring in all the groceries you bought.

We hope to know more about real-world uses for the Tesla robot if and when we see the prototype.

Tesla Robot Specs and Hardware

To convince someone to buy a human-sized robot that walks on two feet and that could theoretically pick up an adult (up to 150 pounds), you have to really sell the idea of friendliness. Musk says it's built so you can "run away from it," and "most likely, overpower it."

For safety, Musk says it's important for the robot to have a localized chip that can't be updated remotely. And to be careful to make sure "this doesn't become a dystopian situation," he wants it to comply to anyone who tells it to stop doing whatever it is it's doing.

Its max speed is said to be 5 MPH, it stands 5'8" (173 cm) tall, and weighs 125 lb (57 kg). Its carrying capacity is 45 pounds.

Tesla Bot specs

Tesla

However, like any concept and prototype, those specs might change drastically. It might end up coming in multiple sizes, or maybe you'll be able to purchase a custom Tesla Bot that can deadlift 300 pounds and walk 10 MPH. None of that has been discussed by Tesla or Musk, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Nobody knows yet what Tesla's robot will look like, but Musk says the Optimus prototype won't resemble the model they've shown (the above image).

The Tesla Bot has a screen on its face that shows information, presumably a replacement for speaking. But, like a Tesla car, instead of eyes, there are eight "autopilot cameras" it uses to understand its surroundings. Within its chest houses the full self-driving (FSD) computer that powers the robot's every move.

In fact, other tools used in Tesla cars are also used by this robot, including multi-cam video neural networks, neural net planning, and auto-labeling.

The Latest News About the Tesla Robot

You can get more smart and connected news from Lifewire, but here are other related stories and some rumors we've found about the Tesla Bot specifically:

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