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Rebooting Convenience—The Phenomenal Tesla Bot


Remember the Will Smith movie I, Robot? Elon Musk sure does, and he seemingly derived inspiration aplenty. The ingenious minds at Tesla are back at it with yet another mind-blowing concept set to completely change our approach to life. In all its glory, the Tesla Bot was unveiled in a presentation by a panel of members at Tesla’s AI Day event, showcasing a variety of the Bot’s features with its purpose entailed.

The Glorious Purpose

Contrary to the exceedingly unrealistic expectations purported by society, the Tesla Bot was only designed for “dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks”, as proposed by the panel. The robot, codenamed ‘Optimus’, stands at an average height of 5’8” or 173m. Owing to the parts being composed of lightweight materials, it weighs around a measly 57 kg. The robot can also attain a maximum speed of 8 kmph or 5 mph.

The display of the model is inexplicably an eye-catcher among the people. The slender bi-pedal humanoid structure emulates a sense of familiarity and looks slick at the same time. The body is silky white with a jet-black coating from the shoulder up, including the facial region. As noted by hundreds of internet geeks, similarities are abundant with the infamous NS-5 model from I, Robot.

The Tesla Bot prototype that was unveiled during the presentation [Image Credits: Tesla]

One of the primary functions of the Tesla Bot is to lift and carry heavy items across locations. To this end, it is said to be able to accomplish a deadlift of over 68 kg at a time, with an extended arm lift of up to 5 kg. Additionally, it has a carrying capacity of 20 kg, making it the ideal solution for transporting goods and belongings.

The artificial intelligence and tools used to run the Tesla Bot will be built around the very same one currently being employed for Tesla’s smart cars. The operations of the robot are further enhanced by the 40 odd electromechanical actuators embedded into the body. Moreover, the face will not just be an empty blank screen—rather, it will serve as a display for useful information. It will also be equipped with state-of-the-art autopilot cameras and multi-cam neural networks to ensure smooth and responsive functioning.

The recognition system and cameras built into the Tesla Bot model [Image Credits: Tesla]

How It Revolutionises the Face of AI

Society is becoming increasingly less complacent to advances in the field of artificial intelligence, and several ideologies are being embraced as a result. Tesla’s AI technology is generally considered to be unparalleled by that of other companies, with the success of Tesla products and services heralding its supremacy. The Tesla Bot is predicted to follow suit in the same direction and completely change the way we look at our daily activities.

Some people might have a notion that it is just a basic labour-intensive robot but rest assured that it is not just for carrying things. Only time will tell just how advanced the Tesla Bots will become with each new model, expanding its set of capabilities. Moreover, Tesla also aims to not have it operate with line-by-line instructions, but rather more humanely with voice commands used colloquially—like a helper buddy!

It wouldn’t be too irrational to expect a Tesla Bot to change your tyres, do the laundry and even complete the grocery shopping you’ve been putting off for too long. The AI technology will no doubt revolutionise the ease at which humans perform their daily chores efficiently and with minimum effort, simultaneously keeping them out of harm’s way.

Is It Worth It?

Of course, the thought of artificial life forms has always instilled a certain degree of fear and anxiety in human beings since the dawn of the technological age. Elon Musk himself acknowledged the valid concern put forward detailing the aspect of ethics during the presentation. While a hostile takeover of the human race seems unlikely, it can never be ruled out, as various forms of entertainment have shown us over the years.

However, the Tesla panel conveyed a sense of reassurance throughout their pitch that provided a repose to the malicious theories. In fact, they do have a convincing failsafe to this condition—the robot’s speed. It acts as a double-edged sword in that it could take a long time to accomplish simple tasks, but the average human can easily outrun and overpower it in case of any hints of malevolence.

Just as automation has rendered many jobs redundant over the last few years, there is a growing concern that in a couple of years or decades, the Tesla Bot may take over the jobs of maids and labourers, especially immigrants. This could potentially bring about a widening in the social divide and disrupt the status quo. In today’s political climate, countries are capable of doing just about anything to come out on top. Weaponising or militarising the Tesla Bots or any other robots manufactured by competing nations can produce chaos of a high order. Among other consequences, political tensions could get strained during the entire ordeal.

The global market trend forecasting a steep increase in AI sector revenue [Image Credits: Tractica]

Naturally, such a complex creation with a wide range of uses will not come cheap. For a good initial number of years, the Tesla Bot will mostly be owned by the most affluent individuals. Undoubtedly, this would further separate the divide between the rich and the poor. There is no certainty as to when it would be made commercial as well as the degree of it.

In spite of all this, some risks need to be taken for the greater good of humanity. Most of the aforementioned demerits portray a worst-case scenario, which need not come to fruition at all. The Tesla team has nonetheless done a great job in putting doubts to rest and generating a warm response from the public.

The Future Prospect

Netizens are full of mixed reactions in regard to the concept, with most of them turning to the classic spread of memes—not unlike Musk’s own character. As a matter of fact, Musk even snidely retorted during the Q&A session, “We hope this does not feature in a dystopian sci-fi movie.” As exciting as the idea of seeing robots carry out human tasks in the real world sounds, it will take quite a while for the products themselves to hit the shelves. Elon Musk announced that the team is still in the phase of gathering and assembling parts at this time. The final production of the first tangible prototype is estimated to be wrapped up only by late 2022.

Nevertheless, it is unpredictable as to what the Tesla Bots will be used for over the years. As laziness breeds invention, the Tesla Bot will undergo several prototypical changes akin to the iPhone series, adding new functions at each generation. Perhaps the most anticipated feature among these would be the cognitive perception of emotions, giving an extent of humanity to the lifeless hunk of metal.

Punctuality was never Tesla’s strong suit, with several promises made by the company not being met in actuality. For example, Musk tweeted that by 2018, self-driving cars would be able to bypass border limitations and be summoned across states. He also said that by 2020, Tesla would supply a million automated taxis on the roads. The release window of the Tesla Bot is mercurial in nature, and the entrepreneur’s vows must be taken with a grain of salt.

The thought of it all becoming a reality in the near future is as surreal as a Black Mirror episode. Who knows, we might get to witness a live robot check the “I’m not a robot” Captcha box one day. Tesla’s unwavering ambition to usher in an advanced way of life provides much-needed optimism in these trying times. The Tesla Bot is a cornerstone in the field of science—one which will pave the way for a brand-new experience for all of mankind.

Featured Image Credits: Tesla

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