Tesla robots

Elon Musk has high aspirations for Tesla’s humanoid robot, Optimus. Image: @TeslaLife/ X

Musk’s Tesla is ramping up efforts to launch humanoid robots

Elon Musk’s vision of launching Tesla’s humanoid robot, Optimus, by 2027 appears to be gaining traction but is also facing stiff competition.

Tesla robots

Elon Musk has high aspirations for Tesla’s humanoid robot, Optimus. Image: @TeslaLife/ X

Tesla’s official website currently features over 50 job listings related to positions involving the Tesla Bot. With competitors already conducting pilot studies with robots, Tesla is intensifying its efforts to bring Musk’s ambitious project to fruition.

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During Tesla’s annual AI Day last year, Musk shared his expectation that the Tesla Bot could be available for orders within the next three to five years. He also noted that the robot would likely come at a price significantly lower than that of a typical car, possibly below $20,000 (R368,000)

Robot jobs up for grabs

In a move to support this ambitious endeavor, Tesla is actively expanding its workforce. The company’s careers page showcases more than 50 job openings with “Tesla Bot,” or Optimus, in the job title.

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These positions, primarily based in Palo Alto, California, include roles like “Humanoid Controls Engineer, Tesla Bot” and “Systems Design & Integration Engineer, Tesla Bot,” among others.

In May, Musk provided updates on the progress of the “Optimus Team”, Tesla’s research division. A recent YouTube video released by Tesla showcased Optimus demonstrating its capabilities, including self-calibrating its arms and legs, sorting building blocks by colour, and performing yoga stretches, all while utilising its hands, vision, and Tesla’s onboard neural network.

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Stiff competition

Despite Tesla’s efforts, it’s worth noting that some American competitors have already begun testing humanoid robots in various real-world applications. Texas-based Apptronik in the USA unveiled its robot, Apollo, in August, standing over six feet tall and capable of carrying up to 55 pounds.

Jeff Cardenas, the co-founder and CEO of Apptronik, revealed that the company had deployed Apollo units at multiple customer sites, with a focus on technology improvement and expansion into industries like retail, manufacturing and third-party logistics.

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Meanwhile, Agility Robotics is in the process of establishing a factory in Oregon, and its robot, Digit, is undergoing testing in an Amazon research and development centre near Seattle, USA.

It remains to be seen how the race to develop advanced humanoid robots will unfold in the coming years, with Tesla and its competitors vying for a leading position in this evolving field.