Tesla’s humanoid robot has a new skill. Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to social media platform X to show off the latest video of Optimus, a humanoid robot. The second generation of Optimus (Gen 2), which will be released in December, has a 30 percent increase in walking speed and improved balance and body control.
The video, which is about 1 minute and 40 seconds long, reveals several key pieces of information about the new generation of Optimus. The video shows Optimus walking and moving around the Tesla factory, as well as being able to do deep squats in a gym.
The second-generation Optimus is a major upgrade since the launch of the first generation, featuring a more streamlined body, a 10kg weight reduction, and a bionic foot with enhanced joints – a design that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also allows the robot to walk up to 30 percent faster, a significant upgrade from its predecessor, which could only walk tentatively. This is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, which could only walk tentatively.
The robot hand has also been iterated, with 11 additional parts added to the joints to make the robot’s movements more stable and flexible. All fingers are haptic-sensitive and can act as picking up an egg with one hand and then switching to the other hand to place the egg in a container.
The Optimus robot is not a perfect product at this point, and Musk previously expected it to take another 3-5 years to deliver, with production expected to reach millions of units for less than USD 20,000. Tesla said the second-generation Optimus will be used first in its manufacturing plants, and the company will start selling the robot once its utility is proven.
In addition to its automotive business, Tesla has been trying to use its accumulated new energy, artificial intelligence, and other technologies in several areas. In September 2022, Tesla unveiled Optimus, a prototype humanoid robot, at its AI Day. At the time, Tesla touted that Optimus could move a box from one area to another, water plants, and even work in a factory. Musk added, “This would be a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it. Optimus has the potential to potentially improve economic output by two orders of magnitude.”
Musk has made several references to the potential applications of Optimus, claiming that humanoid robots could replace humans in many boring and dangerous tasks and that people may also want the help of humanoid robots in their lives. He has also complained that humanoid robots will be in much greater demand than cars and that the potential of this Tesla business has been underestimated.