In August 2021, at the Tesla AI Day, Elon Musk revealed that the company is working on its own AI-driven humanoid robot called Tesla Bot. Almost a year later, at the Cyber Rodeo event in Texas, Musk discussed the robot again, referring to it as the Optimus Sub-Prime and emphasizing the high priority he had assigned to the project, and stating that the robot would be ready for production by 2023.
Now in 2023, the Tesla Bot is not quite production-ready, but recent updates indicate significant progress. Tesla is showing off new footage of the robot where it is walking with its installed chassis and successfully performing increasingly complex daily tasks without any assistance. The new video was presented by Elon Musk, during Tesla’s 2023 shareholders meeting event, with Musk claiming the team just put it together the night before.
The initial version could barely walk forward and perform any manual labor on stage alone. The company is showing that the robots can now walk forward with improved stability compared to their initial reveal, although at a slow pace.
The video highlights some specific updates to the Tesla Bot project, including motor torque control, environment discovery and memorization, AI training from human-tracked movements, and improved object manipulation. It also demonstrates the bots’ new capabilities of picking up items and identifying objects.
In addition, the video featured a demonstration where a Tesla Bot successfully picked up objects from one container and put them in a second container, illustrating the AI training process derived from human demonstrations.