While many have been anticipating new Tesla products this year like the Cybertruck, it looks like the company is making a pivot. During the brand’s earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk shared that the company will be focusing on the development of a humanoid robot. And according to Musk, it’s the most important product that the company is developing this year.
The robot, which is internally named “Optimus,” was first unveiled in August during Tesla’s AI Day event. The company says the robot will run using the same AI system that powers Tesla’s driver assistance technology. The bot’s primary function will be to eventually take over tasks from humans that are dangerous, repetitive, or boring. The machine stands at 5 foot 8 and weighs 125 pounds, making it eerily human-like.
Elon Musk said on the call that he thinks the bot “has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.” He also shared that the first application of the robot would most likely be internal, at Tesla, “moving parts around the factory or something like that.”
Elon Musk Develops Robot To Combat Labor Shortage
It seems the move to prioritize the robot over other projects is directly related to current labor shortages. “If you think about the economy, it is — the foundation of the economy is labor,” Elon Musk said on Wednesday. “Capital equipment is distilled labor. So what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about, so very important.”
This comes as a surprise to many Tesla fans and inventors, who have been eagerly waiting for more details on a new vehicle from the company. The automaker has been talking about projects like the Cybertruck, Roadster, and Semi heavy-duty truck for quite some time. However, Musk says Tesla won’t introduce any new vehicle models this year. The CEO says that doing so would affect overall volume of production, and he doesn’t want to put out a new vehicle if he can’t produce a significant amount of models.
It appears that Elon Musk will be a very busy man in 2022. Between Tesla, SpaceX, and the recently controversial brain chip Neuralink, he continues to make headlines.
The Billionaire Also Has a Brain Chip Project
The billionaire recently made news over Neuralink, a neurotechnology company he founded that is developing implantable brain chips. Some scientists have expressed their concerns over such an idea. “I don’t think there is sufficient public discourse on what the big picture implications of this kind of technology becoming available [are],” said Dr. Karola Kreitmair, assistant professor of medical history and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She added, “I worry that there’s this uncomfortable marriage between a company that is for-profit… and these medical interventions that hopefully are there to help people.”
The company says their product could help people with paralysis and other medical problems.
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