Dusseldorf, San Francisco Optimus first appeared over a year ago was embarrassing. An actor walked onto the stage in a robot costume, imitating the stiff movements of a machine, only to soon be dancing wildly to techno music. “That obviously wasn’t a real robot,” stuttered Tesla-Boss Elon Musk thereafter. “But the Tesla Bot will become reality.” In a year he wants to present a prototype to the world. Today’s Tesla AI Day should be the day.
The fact that the electric car manufacturer was developing a human-like robot surprised everyone at the time: analysts, experts, Tesla fans – and employees. According to an expert close to the company, the company’s own department for artificial intelligence (AI) knew nothing about the “Tesla Bot” at the time. Hundreds of developers and engineers in Palo Alto had been working on autonomous driving – but not on a humanoid.