The AI-Powered Tesla Bot Could Replace Human Workers
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Tesla made history with its massive touchscreen that replaces all the physical controls you typically find in a car. Since then, it has continued adding many advanced features to its vehicles, including AI-equipped self-driving. Just recently, Tesla also announced its plans to implement that AI in another project.
In addition to unveiling its updated vehicle autonomy program at AI Day, Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased the Tesla Bot. An automated robot could massively benefit workforces at large, but can Tesla actually bring it to completion? Green Car Reports explains how the Tesla Bot would function and its potential flaws. Tesla is developing AI robots to help with human tasks.
What is the Tesla Bot?
Tesla’s robot, nicknamed Optimus Prime, would operate with the same AI program used inside popular Tesla cars. Instead of a face, it has a screen and eight cameras, powered by Tesla’s neural network training computer. While still in development, the computer will reportedly base its decision-making on observed patterns and pre-programmed algorithms.
The robot stands at 5-foot-8 and weighs 125 pounds, but only has a maximum speed of 5 mph. The body is also constructed with lightweight materials to prevent accidental injury to any humans in its vicinity.
Like a car, the Tesla Bot also has several electromechanical actuators to give it a wide range of movement. Its hands have as much articulation as a human hand and both feet have two axes each to keep the bot balanced.
What are the benefits of the Tesla Bot?
Musk says the robots will specialize in doing monotonous tasks such as heavy lifting and serving food or drinks. It will also be able to hold tools and recognize gestures from humans.
Since the robot doesn’t need to eat or sleep, it could work well beyond the healthy operation limits of humans. It would also not experience the burnout that comes with working long hours each day.
According to Elon Musk, universal basic income is the way of the future. As robots take over labor, Musk says that physical work will be a choice.
Vox explains that universal basic income has already been tested in several sectors throughout the United States. It seems to have no negative effects on employment, while simultaneously increasing happiness, education, and even fertility rates of the study participants.
Have any other automakers made robots?
Honda also tried to manufacture its own robot, a stocky unit named ASIMO. Its purpose was to assist the elderly or disabled individuals with everyday tasks, recognizing gestures and voice commands. Throughout its development, it was also shown to play soccer and dance.
However, with a predicted price tag of $2.5 million each, it would likely only be accessible for big healthcare corporations. After nearly two decades in production, Honda killed the project to focus on AI technology inside its vehicles instead.
Critics worry that Tesla doesn’t understand the challenges they might face throughout the Tesla Bot development journey. Optimus has a slimmer build than ASIMO, meaning it might not be able to balance itself as well. Tesla also didn’t explain where Optimus will get its power or how much battery capacity it might have.
The robot’s actuators would also have to be more sensitive than those implemented in a car. This is especially true when handling tools or other objects that need specific finger inputs. It’s a difficult technology to develop, and only time will tell if Tesla can succeed. The prototype is scheduled for a 2022 release.
Regardless of the Tesla Bot’s success, Tesla’s self-driving technology has progressed at a steady pace. With all the technological advances, you might be wondering how this will impact the type of car insurance coverage you need.