Watch Elon Musk unveil Tesla’s superior humanoid robotic

Tesla boss Elon Musk has revealed the company is building a highly advanced humanoid robot.
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Musk dropped the surprise news during a presentation at Tesla’s A.I. Day event on Thursday, August 19.
After appearing first in a brief video, the robot then strutted onto the stage and performed an astonishingly complex dance. Except the stage version was in fact a human dressed to look like the robot. “Obviously that was not real,” the Tesla CEO confirmed to the audience as the performer slunked off.
The upcoming “Tesla Bot,” as Musk called it, is designed to “eliminate dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks,” with a prototype expected to appear some time next year.
Musk said it made sense to design the robot as Tesla engineers have already created “semi-sentient robots on wheels” in the form of its vehicles, and therefore much of the technology should be able to be refined and transferred.
Tesla Bot stands at 5 foot 8 inches, weighs 125 pounds, and has a display on its head “for useful information.” It’s also packed with actuators for natural movement, including “human-level hands.”
Tesla Bot includes a version of Tesla’s autonomous navigation system powered by multiple cameras to help it find its way and keep clear of hazardous obstacles. Built-in artificial intelligence smarts mean it will be able to learn and respond to instructions. “Please go to the store and get me the following groceries,” Musk offered by way of example.
He also suggested it could perform tasks on the Tesla production lines, a comment that may have sent a chill down the spines of the current workforce. On that issue, Musk said he believes that with robot technology taking more and more jobs, offering people a universal basic income will one day become a necessity.
Apparently keen to reassure those living in fear of an even more extreme robot takeover, Musk quipped that Tesla Bot has been designed with a top speed of 5 mph “so you can run away from it and most likely overpower it,” adding, “It’s intended to be friendly, of course.”
It’s clearly a monumental task to build and meaningfully deploy a truly useful humanoid robot, with the likes of Honda, for example, having ditched its impressive Asimo robot, and with other more recent efforts falling well short of expectations.
But let’s hope Tesla can take the design to the next level and properly surprise us when it unveils its humanoid robot in 2022.

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Meet the staff behind one of many world’s most spectacular humanoid robots

Boston Dynamics has offered a fascinating look inside the workshop at the center of its astonishing Atlas robot.
A six-minute video from the Massachussetts-based robotics team highlights Atlas’s various skills that enable it to move just like a human.
We also get to see the team tinkering with five-foot-tall Atlas as they tirelessly hone its existing abilities while also adding new ones.

A big focus of the Atlas team is parkour, a training discipline that involves tackling an obstacle course. No, it’s not for the roboticists to keep fit. Rather, it’s a task designed to push Boston Dynamics’ bipedal robot to its limit as it hops and leaps between the various challenges.
And yes, there are plenty of trips and tumbles along the way but every mishap helps the team to further improve Atlas’s abilities.
“Robots crash a lot, it’s not the robot just magically deciding to do parkour,” Boston Dynamics’ Benjamin Stephens explains in the video. “It’s kind of a choreographed routine, much like a skateboard video or a parkour video where an athlete has practiced these moves dozens or hundreds of times to get to that exciting capability, so we’re kind of doing the same thing with Atlas, exploring how to push it to its limits.”
You can check out Atlas’s most recent parkour run below, and highly impressive it is too …

Stephens describes Atlas as “a platform for us to do R&D on,” adding, “As an Atlas team we’re encouraged to push that platform to its limits, like do the most crazy, exciting, high-powered stuff we can do with it, and so we’re always expanding and pushing the limits of Atlas’s capabilities, then hopefully by extension, extending the capabilities of the company as well.”
Considering the team’s focus on R&D, it’s perhaps little surprise that Atlas is yet to follow in the footsteps of Spot, Boston Dynamics’ robot dog that’s now commercially available for a range of tasks across various industries. But if Atlas does ever find a role outside the workshop, deployments could include search and rescue operations across challenging terrain, or the exploration of potentially hazardous facilities such as nuclear power plants.
Atlas and Spot made a rare joint appearance at the end of last year when they performed a dazzling dance routine to The Contours’ Do You Love Me in another demonstration of the robots’ remarkable skills.

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