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  • Jesus Arambula

Tesla Bot: Judgment Day

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Many people recognize Tesla as the multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturer for their advanced technology in fully electric vehicles. So far, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has been highly successful as the company releases better and improved cars every now and then. However, not the company has been moving in a different direction, from electric vehicles to robots. That’s right! On the evening of Thursday, August 19th, Musk announced the new Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot with various capabilities and ready for production by next year.

The bot is 5 feet, 8 inches in height and weighs in at about 125 pounds. “It’s basically going to start dealing with work that is boring, repetitive and dangerous,” Musk said at the event. “What is the work that people would least like to do?” Essentially, the bot is designed to do menial tasks that most people would find time-wasting labour. This may mean that labour costs will be reduced, but not now since the bot is still in production. Also, it was not mentioned what price the bot would be sold for, but we can always expect really high prices.

Musk also added that the bot, code-named Optimus, will have the same chipset as that of Tesla’s autopilot features. The bot will also carry up to 45 pounds, lift 150 pounds, and run at 5 miles per hour. “Talk to it and say, ‘please pick up that bolt and attach it to a car with that wrench,’ and it should be able to do that,” Musk added. “‘Please go to the store and get me the following groceries.’ That kind of thing. I think we can do that.”

All this talk of autonomy sounds exciting and something to look forward to, but Musk had promised specific independent projects before and failed to deliver them. For instance, in 2019, Musk said that the company will have more than 1 million “robotaxis” by 2020. Obviously, that didn’t happen. “Unfortunately, as we have seen with robotaxis and other future sci-fi projects for Musk, we view this Tesla Bot as an absolute head-scratcher that will further agitate investors at a time the Street is showing growing concern around rising EV competition and safety issues for Tesla,” managing director Dan Ives at Wedbush Securities commented on Friday. “While we appreciate Musk’s longer-term technology vision, a Tesla Bot is not what investors want to see,” he added.

Ives also stated that Tesla should be focusing on other issues that the company has regarding the Autopilot feature and the shortage of microchips caused by the pandemic.

But what do you guys think? Is Tesla headed in the right direction regarding autonomous devices? Should Tesla stay with manufacturing vehicles instead of robots? Or will this new Tesla innovation be the first mistake that will snowball into an AI apocalypse? Only time will tell...


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