Tesla's actually serious about the Tesla Bot
Tesla’s first foray into humanoid-looking robots may seem like a natural evolution for the company that’s made a name for itself in cutting-edge technology, although it may be an odd and somewhat ambitious project that some have called a 'joke'.
It's not hard to see why - despite Elon Musk’s famous utterings about the dangers of artificial intelligence, Musk is not letting that get in the way of Tesla’s latest creation, the Tesla Bot.
Possibly banking on the success of companies such as Boston Dynamics, which has spent years mastering the art of bipedal robots, Tesla’s first reveal of the Tesla Bot was somewhat underwhelming.
The Tesla Bot concept revealed itself at Tesla’s AI Day last month, but it quickly became less than impressive when it was clear the object on stage was anything but a robot. Instead, it was a dancer in a suit.
Beyond the theatrics, many commentators called the Tesla Bot a late April Fools joke, but it looks like Tesla still wants to give it a go anyway.
"The Tesla Bot will be real," Musk said at the event.
We know that the Tesla Bot is being called the ‘next generation of automation’ - and the fact that it’s very much humanoid and walks on two feet. It looks to be targeted at the industrial sector and will be responsible for tasks that may be ‘unsafe, repetitive, or boring’ for humans.
It will also stand 1.73 metres tall, weigh 57kg and deadlift 68kg, with a carrying capacity of 20kg and an arm extend lift of 4.5kg. It will also move at speeds of up to 8km/h.
And Musk adds that the Tesla Bot will be friendly.
He adds shortly afterwards, "We're setting it such that it is, at a mechanical level [and] a physical level - you can run away from it and most likely overpower it. So hopefully that doesn't ever happen, but you never know."
To bring the Tesla Bot alive, Tesla knows it needs great minds to make it work, which is why the company has gone on something on a hiring spree for talent.
The company is currently advertising for 11 roles - 10 based out of the company’s Palo Alto, California base and one in Austin, Texas.
Positions include software intern, electrical engineer, mechanical design engineer, controls engineer, autonomy, test engineer, software engineer, mechanical engineering intern, embedded firmware engineer, engineering technician, and electrical engineering intern.