After a presentation on Tesla's undeniably impressive work with AI, Elon Musk closed the night by taking out a dancer in a spandex suit. Behold, said Musk: my Tesla Bot.
The dancer in the costume was the model for a new humanoid robot that Tesla will produce in the near future.
So after the dubstep and applause faded, some vague slides promised that the Tesla Bot would be 1,7 meters tall, weigh 56 kilograms, have "human hands" and eliminate "dangerous, repetitive and boring work".
Musk said building a robot to replace humans is something no company in the world is close to doing. But it is a logical step for Tesla, which is already developing motor vehicles.
"Our cars are semi-wheel-drive robots. It makes sense to release a humanoid form as well. "We're pretty good at sensors, batteries and actuators, so we think we'll probably have a prototype sometime next year that will basically look like this."
Did I say Elon Musk gave a multi-purpose show? He trolled Tesla skeptics, fueled the company's fans, earned a share price and made some impressive headlines.
The latter is particularly important because a week ago all the media was involved in a federal investigation investigating Tesla Autopilot software that crashed a company car on parked ambulances.
Forget all that, says Elon Musk, just look at the person in the spandex suit! In 2022 we will have a real robot, I promise.
Should we believe him? I will not answer you on this, but I want to repeat the facts.
Elon Musk took the stage last night and promised that Tesla, a company whose software is unable to avoid parked ambulances, would soon build a fully functional humanoid robot.
Musk said the machine could intuitively follow any human instructions, or "go to a store and get me the following items" instructions. Then he said, "Yes, I think we can do it."
To put Musk's claims in context, remember that Boston Dynamics, a company that makes Atlas, the world's most advanced bipedal robot, has never described its machines as AI.
Atlas, says Boston Dynamics, is just one way to push robotics to the forefront: it's not even close to commercial growth. In recent videos of the machine, the company showed how difficult it is to build a two-legged robot and how often Atlas falls where it goes.
It is also worth mentioning that Boston Dynamics has been working on Atlas and all its bipedal predecessors for over a decade. Musk believes he can do it in a year.
Carl Berry, Lecturer in Mechanical Robotics at the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, Reported in TheVerge the very scientific: "horse shit" challenging Musk. Berry stressed that the development of robotics and artificial intelligence in construction usually requires that it be done in the simplest possible machine: not in a very complex one.
"I'm not saying that Tesla 's research will not be good but that it (the company) and companies like Boston Dynamics leave the public with unrealistic expectations of what robotics can or will be for many years to come. ”
Musk may be able to build a decent Tesla Bot automatic by 2022, something of the most advanced models in Disney theme parks.
But if it does, it will be just another distraction.
These baits are often used by Musk. Just think how his plans for it changed Hyperloop with time.
The technology was announced as a system that would transport people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than half an hour. Over the years, these ambitions shrank until the project was transformed in a simple Loop: a small tunnel in which you can drive a car.
Musk sells innovation, and his audience seems to like it. You do not even need a robot to sell the dream. All he needed was a dancer in a spandex costume. This is an innovation.