Tesla’s “Transformers”


Kenneth Garcia, Business & Tech Reporter

On September 30th, 2022, Tesla held their AI Day event where they unveiled two AI Robot Prototypes, “Bumble C and Optimus.” Bumble C made its first earlier appearance on stage in February 2022,  but this time it came back with upgraded features. As it made its way to the front of the stage, it waved to the crowd and even busted a few dance moves. Shortly after, a video played on stage that showcased what Bumble-C could now do. It showed Bumble C facilitating some daily functions such as moving a box from the Tesla warehouse to the Tesla office space and watering plants with a water jug. It’s able to do this because it utilizes the same driving computers and components that run in Tesla Cars. Thanks to the LIDAR technology and the drivers, Bumble-C is able to map out the world and identify objects that it sees in front of him, such as boxes, desks, walls, plants, and much more.

The grand reveal, however, was the second AI Robot Prototype called “Optimus” which made its official debut appearance on stage. The Optimus Bot came in a fully Tesla-designed outfit (like the cars), a battery pack in the center, a control system,  actuators, and much more. Elon Musk reveals what he called “Optimus Production Unit 1” which is what he and the Tesla team are looking to achieve in the next few months. Some of the features they want to lock down are the ability for Optimus to move all the fingers independently; for the thumb to have two degrees of freedom, and for both the left and right hand, which will allow Optimus to operate tools and other useful things.

What makes Optimus different from other AI Robots? Elon Musk states that his mission with Optimus is to make it at “high volume at low costs with high reliability”. His goal is to “make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible.” Meaning that the AI Robot Optimus is meant to be mass-produced and available for companies to purchase and utilize in their factories and their work environments. The problem with other AI Robots that Elon Musk states are, “They don’t have a brain, don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by themselves, and they’re also very expensive and made in low volume.” Optimus is designed to be an extremely capable robot, but made in very high volume in what he estimates to be “Probably around millions of units, and to cost less than a car around $20,000.”

As AI technology continues to further in development, what do you think the world will look like with AI Robots taking on roles in our society? Will it be as good as they say it will be? Or perhaps, it’ll be a blend of Robots and Humans working together. What do you think the future holds for tech?