Tesla's Optimus robot is learning to navigate, sense and pick things up
There are now at least five Optimus robot prototypes built and capable of walking
Tesla now has at least five Optimus prototypes capable of walking
By Loz Blain
At Tesla's 2023 shareholders meeting, Elon Musk showed some new video of the Optimus robot he believes will represent the vast majority of the company's value in the future – as well as the method through which the development team is training the AI.
There are now at least five Optimus robot prototypes built and capable of walking, using motors, controllers and electronics all designed and manufactured by Tesla. The general-purpose robot is learning to sense the world around it, map it and navigate it using systems developed for the self-driving Autopilot systems in the company's electric cars.
"As Full Self Driving gets closer to generalized real-world AI, that same software is transferable to a humanoid robot" said Musk. "Humans can obviously walk around with our arms and legs, but we can also drive a car, fly a plane, steer a boat, ride a horse. If you have a generalized understanding, a generalized real-world AI, which is what we are developing for Full Self Driving, it can be transferred to basically anything. Optimus will use the same FSD computer as the car."
"Very few people, even in the AI community, appreciate just how much capability Tesla has in AI," he added. "It's by far the most advanced real-world AI. There's no-one even close. Reality has the most degrees of freedom."
The joint motors are powerful, but sensitive enough to avoid cracking an unexpected egg if necessary Tesla
The video shows a quick look at some sort of leg design, demonstrating both a degree of explosive leaping power from the electric actuators, and also how sensitive the system can be, with a rubber foot coming down on an egg, but stopping before breaking it.
It also shows a few glimpses of the Optimus team training the robot, using a similar monkey see, monkey do technique as the Sanctuary AI team we featured yesterday – but apparently minus the telepresence component. Operators wearing motion tracking suits and head-mounted cameras perform the kinds of basic tasks Tesla hopes to train the bots for, and their actions are replicated by a virtual model of the robot, which learns common movement patterns.
That's interesting to note, as there's a fair difference between an operator simply doing the task in person, with the robot learning from a virtualization of the process, and Sanctuary's approach of having operators drive the robots directly via telepresence, meaning that the operator is seeing only what the robot can see, and feeling only what the robot can feel – and the robot's own hands are performing the job under human control.
Human operators in motion capture suits are performing basic tasks, in order to train the bots Tesla
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Don't like this one little bit, not because I don't like robots...they could be very useful in the right circumstances...It's because the DoD is involved as are bankers, that gates guy and many others I don't trust to be either sane or honest.