Elon Musk unveils new footage of Tesla's Optimus robot showing improved mobility and speed

midian182

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What just happened? Elon Musk has shared new footage of Tesla's robot, Optimus Gen 2, taking a walk around a warehouse. The humanoid machine appears to be moving much more smoothly and is steadier on its feet than in previous clips, suggesting the engineers are continuing to make improvements ahead of a possible 2025 launch.

Tesla announced the latest version of Optimus, Gen 2, last December (below). The robot has come a long way since the original Bumblebee model from September 2022; this updated version is packed with Tesla-designed actuators and sensors, is 22 pounds lighter, and boasts a 30% boost to its walking speed.

While December's clip is undoubtedly impressive, Optimus Gen 2 still appeared to be walking very stiffly, like someone desperately looking for a place to relieve themselves.

Another video from the official Optimus account in January showed the robot going for another gentle and rather unsteady stroll.

However, the latest video of Optimus Gen 2 shows that it now moves noticeably faster and is a bit steadier on its feet. You'd still feel concerned if you saw a person walking this way, but the progress is certainly there.

Milan Kovac, Tesla's Head of Optimus Engineering, explained some of the advances made since the December video. The Gen 2 robot now possesses its fastest gait ever, around 0.6 m/s, which is another 20% speed increase. The vestibular system, foot trajectory, and ground contact logic have all been improved, along with other improvements. The team even added a slight sway to the torso and arms for a more natural appearance.

It was back in August 2021 when Tesla announced that it was creating a general-purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot "capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring for humans to carry out."

In January 2022, Musk said Tesla's robot was the most important in-development product, potentially bigger than its vehicle business. The EV giant revealed the first prototype during the 2022 Tesla AI Day.

Musk said in December that he expects Optimus to be able to thread a needle within the next year. Musk said there's a good chance Tesla could start shipping units in 2025, possibly for less than $20,000, but then he's often wildly optimistic with his products' timeline/price predictions.

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They are making good progress, which is nice to see. As someone who worked with the early version of the Boston Dynamics humanoid robot, in the 10 years since this looks like a nice upgrade.

However, I am still not sure what Tesla wants the robot to do. The reality that walking robots are extremely inefficient and use a lot of power, since they don't walk like humans do. Especially on perfectly flat floors like a factory where wheels would be infinitely more efficient.

The humanoid arms and hands are very useful. Many tasks still require dexterity of a human.

However, at the end of the day, it is the human cognition and hand-eye coordination that is key. Without autonomy software to do that, these kinds of humanoid robots are just a waste of money for most things.

Even if Tesla could make them for $20k. What would you even do with them? They are just expensive toys at the moment to make Tesla look innovative. Musk is a hype machine, and this just feels like a gimmick to me. Maybe there is a business plan here, I just wish we knew what it was.
 
So, is it the real thing or just another guy in a suit? I only ask because he's done it before and let's face it, Musk is certainly NOT the most trustworthy guy .....
 
Once robots (seriously) hit the market many people will lose their jobs.
Like what happened with electric cars, big industries will start building robots, stealing features and ideas from each others to get a part of the pie.
20k for a worker that can be plugged and works all day, even if it had to be replaced every 2 years it would still be fine, this is nowhere close to a first world country salary.
 
I fail to see the rationale for walking robots… robotic arms (and this is, essentially a glorified version of that), are most common in factory environments… where wheels are just so much easier and more stable in use…
 
I fail to see the rationale for walking robots… robotic arms (and this is, essentially a glorified version of that), are most common in factory environments… where wheels are just so much easier and more stable in use…
Humans are common in factory environments too. They Robots don't need to replace robots, those already exist in factories.
 
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So, is it the real thing or just another guy in a suit? I only ask because he's done it before and let's face it, Musk is certainly NOT the most trustworthy guy .....
Actually, no, Musk has not "done it before". The dancer in the Lycra suit was an obvious joke from the start, and -- for the 70-IQ mouth-breather that might conceivable have missed it -- Musk himself pointed it out at the end of the routine.

Seriously, when did it become OK to post intentional misinformation about people, simply because you disagree with them politically?
 
I… don’t understand your comment?
I mean robots don't need to replace robots, they need to replace humans. That's the point of this initiative by Tesla. Humans and robots have been working side by side in factories for a long time.

Perhaps the robot legs are needed after all because they've had bots without legs for a long time and they couldn't replace humans before.
 
They are making good progress, which is nice to see. As someone who worked with the early version of the Boston Dynamics humanoid robot, in the 10 years since this looks like a nice upgrade.

However, I am still not sure what Tesla wants the robot to do. The reality that walking robots are extremely inefficient and use a lot of power, since they don't walk like humans do. Especially on perfectly flat floors like a factory where wheels would be infinitely more efficient.

The humanoid arms and hands are very useful. Many tasks still require dexterity of a human.

However, at the end of the day, it is the human cognition and hand-eye coordination that is key. Without autonomy software to do that, these kinds of humanoid robots are just a waste of money for most things.

Even if Tesla could make them for $20k. What would you even do with them? They are just expensive toys at the moment to make Tesla look innovative. Musk is a hype machine, and this just feels like a gimmick to me. Maybe there is a business plan here, I just wish we knew what it was.
I'm a fairly frugal individual, but if it could fold laundry and load/empty the dishwasher, 20k is a price I'd part ways with to get rid of those chores, especially as I get older.
 
Actually, no, Musk has not "done it before". The dancer in the Lycra suit was an obvious joke from the start, and -- for the 70-IQ mouth-breather that might conceivable have missed it -- Musk himself pointed it out at the end of the routine.

Seriously, when did it become OK to post intentional misinformation about people, simply because you disagree with them politically?
This is rich from someone who has posted misleading/disinformation. And, Oh yeah. Resorting to the snark you supposedly hate again are we?
 
Walking on two legs ain't easy! It's a feat of balance that boggles the mind. Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to do it, but it took a staggering amount of practice and adaptation, and if you really thought about what you're doing you'd fall flat on your face.

Here's a Chinese walking robot:

They make 'em squishy there.
 
I didn't expect much, but it didn't live up to my low expectations.
Somebody please explain me, how is the human body's structure the optimal one for a robot? What will it be used for? Maybe Musk wants to use it in combination with Neuralink?!
 
I didn't expect much, but it didn't live up to my low expectations.
Somebody please explain me, how is the human body's structure the optimal one for a robot?
We design buildings, stairs, elevators, doorways, sidewalks, etc, all for use by the human body. In some environments, the body structure of a giraffe or sperm whale might be more appropriate, but in interacting with humans, the human form is a safe bet.

Note that Boston Dynamics and other firms which produce military robots, have an entire host of other body structures, everything from a headless dog to a low-slung lizard.
 
Humanity officially entering human-free era
Some people have watched too many Netflix series. Until and unless AI evolves emotions -- and the drives that come with it -- the idea of it coming into conflict with us is absurd.
 
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