Tesla, the visionary electric car company led by billionaire Elon Musk, has introduced an upgraded version of its humanoid robot, Optimus. The unveiling took place through a captivating video posted on X, showcasing the robot's remarkable abilities. Optimus "Gen 2" features enhanced speed, reduced weight, improved balance, and advanced hand movements compared to its predecessor.
In the demonstration video, Tesla's robotics division exhibited Optimus "Gen 2" walking 30% faster, shedding 10kg in weight, and displaying superior balance and dexterity. The robot effortlessly executed squats, flexed its fingers, and even delicately boiled an egg, showcasing advancements in delicate object manipulation. The video concluded with a lively scene of two Optimus robots dancing to electronic music.
This development follows a previous update from September, where Tesla showcased the earlier version of Optimus sorting objects by color and performing yoga stretches. Elon Musk, unveiling the Optimus robotics program in 2021, envisioned these robots as a solution to eliminate "dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks."
Elon Musk emphasized that Tesla's robots, including Optimus, are designed to be "friendly." He assured that they would incorporate safety measures, allowing individuals to easily escape or overpower the robots if necessary. Musk quipped, "Five mph – if you can run faster than that, you will be fine."
Tesla's newly launched robot has received a lukewarm response from the industry analysts while robotics experts have raised questions about the recent innovations, comparing them to rival companies that have been working on similar machines for years. Tesla faces skepticism as to whether its humanoid robots can truly make a significant impact.
Amazon has also already unveiled its own bipedal robot called Digit in October. Standing at 5ft 9 inches tall and weighing 65kg, Digit can lift and sort empty baskets in Amazon's warehouses, carrying loads of up to 35kg. This raises the question of how Tesla's Optimus measures up against established competitors in the rapidly evolving field of robotics.
Tesla's Optimus "Gen 2" marks another stride in the company's commitment to advancing robotics technology. As Elon Musk envisions a future where robots alleviate humans from mundane tasks, the industry remains skeptical, questioning whether Tesla's ambitious goals can be realized. Only time will tell if Optimus becomes a groundbreaking innovation or remains a debated spectacle in the ever-evolving landscape of robotics.