ELON Musk has revealed that his upcoming Optimus robot will eventually be worth more than the Tesla car business.
The sci-fi droid was announced last year – and will look like a human.
It’s designed to perform “boring or dangerous tasks” for its owners.
Optimus is expected to arrive in an early form as soon as 2023.
And now its creator – and the world’s richest man – thinks it will eventually trump Tesla cars.
“I was surprising that people did not realise the magnitude of the Optimus robot program,” Musk said, speaking during an earnings call.
“The importance of Optimus will become apparent in the coming years.
“Those who are insightful or looking, listening carefully will understand that Optimus will ultimately be worth more than the car business, worth more than [full self driving].”
Musk’s lifelike droid will stand 5ft 8in tall, and weigh in at a terrifyingly realistic 125lbs.
It would be designed to perform menial tasks, including picking up groceries – or building Tesla cars.
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This isn’t the first time that Elon Musk has suggested Optimus could trump Tesla cars.
In January, Musk revealed that Optimus could be Tesla’s most important product.
“In terms of priority of products, I think actually the most important product development we’re doing this year is the Optimus humanoid robot,” Musk said at Tesla’s Q4 2021 earnings result earlier this year.
The Optimus robot is expected to have a screen instead of a face.
And the droid will be controlled by an artificial intelligence system.
“We have almost all the pieces needed for humanoid robots,” said Musk in a Twitter post.
“Since we already make robots with wheels.”
Musk’s Tesla cars already have an Autopilot software powered by AI.
This allows them to navigate roads without driver input – and similar systems could be used for a robot.
Musk said he’s also keen to keep costs down, so that the Tesla Bot is a realistic alternative to human labour.
“It’s intended to be friendly,” the billionaire explained.
“And navigate through a world built for humans.
“And eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks.”
It sounds terrifying and dystopian, but Musk says that the machine will be designed at a “mechanical level” to not terminate us all.
“You can run away from it, and most likely overpower it,” Musk reassured spectators at the Tesla AI Day last year.
He said the main advantage of the robot will be to limit menial tasks.
“I think essential in the future, physical work will be a choice,” Musk explained.
“If you want to do it, you can.”
Musk even thinks is humanoid robots could one day develop personalities – and provide companionship for humans.
Musk told the Lex Fridman podcast that his Tesla Bots could one day be companions as well as workers.
He said: “It could develop a personality over time that is unique. It’s not like all the robots are the same.
“That personality could evolve to match the owner, or whatever you want to call it.”
Musk also explained that the first focus for his humanoid robots is to do jobs that humans don’t want to do.
He said they could be used for “repetitive and boring work” that may result in human injury.
The Telsa boss said that a subtly imperfect robot could actually make “the perfect buddy”.
He was reluctant to refer to humans who would be in charge of the robots as “owners” and said it felt wrong to say that.
It’s unclear exactly how much an Optimus robot would cost, but it would likely be thousands of dollars.
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