What to Expect From Elon Musk's Tesla Robot

Elon Musk has spoken about what to expect from the upcoming Tesla Optimus—a general-purpose humanoid robot being developed by the company.

The Tesla CEO wrote a column in the Cyberspace Administration of China's official publication talking about the robot, which he said will have its first prototype this year.

According to reports, Tesla is expected to debut a working prototype of the robot during Tesla AI Day on September 30.

The Tesla Optimus, also known as the "Tesla bot," was first announced as a concept in 2021 and the project appears to be a priority for Musk.

"Today's cars are increasingly like smart, web-connected robots on wheels. In fact, in addition to cars, humanoid robots are also becoming a reality, with Tesla launching a general-purpose humanoid robot (Tesla Bot) in 2021," Musk wrote in the column, as translated by Chinese state media Beijing Channel.

Musk then identified some standout features of the design.

It will be the height and weight of an adult

According to Musk, the Tesla Bot will be "close to the height and weight of an adult," and will therefore be able to "carry or pick up heavy objects."

It will also be able to "walk fast in small steps."

It will be able to communicate

Musk said that the robot will also have a screen on its face, in order to communicate with people.

"You may wonder why we designed this robot with legs. Because human society is based on the interaction of a bipedal humanoid with two arms and ten fingers. So if we want a robot to adapt to its environment and be able to do what humans do, it has to be roughly the same size, shape, and capabilities as a human," Musk wrote.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, recently wrote a column on what to expect from the company's upcoming humanoid robot. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

It will care for the elderly

Musk said the whole concept of the robot is in order to "replace people in repetitive, boring and dangerous tasks."

"But the vision is for them to serve millions of households, such as cooking, mowing lawns, and caring for the elderly," the CEO wrote. "Achieving this goal requires that robots evolve to be smart enough and for us to have the ability to mass produce robots."

One day it may be cheaper than a car

Musk said the first ever prototype of the humanoid bot will be developed this year.

The prototype will allow Tesla to solve the problem of "large-scale production."

"Thereafter, humanoid robots' usefulness will increase yearly as production scales up and costs fall. In the future, a home robot may be cheaper than a car. Perhaps in less than a decade, people will be able to buy a robot for their parents as a birthday gift," Musk wrote. "It is foreseeable that with the power of robots, we will create an era of extreme abundance of goods and services, where everyone can live a life of abundance. Perhaps the only scarcity that will exist in the future is for us to create ourselves as humans."