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Elon Musk's Tesla Bot could be an ‘incredible buddy like R2D2 or C3PO’

In addition to performing menial tasks, the Tesla Bot, codenamed 'Optimus Subprime' could make a 'very good companion,' like that of a dog, Musk said.

Elon Musk's Tesla Bot could be an ‘incredible buddy like R2D2 or C3PO’
Tesla
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Elon Musk, who first announced the Tesla Bot in August, revealed on the Lex Fridman podcast that his vision for the autonomous companion involves more than just performing “dangerous and boring” tasks at a factory or at a work site.

Speaking to Fridman, a research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on his podcast, Musk said that the Tesla Bot, which is codenamed Optimus Subprime, could be an “incredible buddy like R2D2 or C3PO” for regular people.

The bot, which is currently in development at Tesla, is being designed to serve as a general-purpose machine that will take over mundane jobs that humans do not necessarily like to do. However, Musk warned that the development of the android “will have to be paired with some kind of universal income in the future.”

Musk gave his warning to state that it would only be necessary when the bot starts to take over jobs.

In addition to performing menial tasks, Optimus Subprime could make a “very good companion,” like that of a dog.

“It could develop a personality over time that is unique. It's not like all the robots are the same,” said Musk. “That personality could evolve to match the owner, or whatever you want to call it.”

Citing R2D2 and C3PO, the popular robots from the original Star Wars movies, Musk pointed out how each of George Lucas’ creations had a law of “flaws and silly things, and they would argue with each other.”

“There are sorta quirky elements where they make mistakes and it would just, it made them relatable, I don't know,” he said. “Endearing.”

“I think that would be something that probably would happen [with the Tesla Bot],” he added. “But our initial focus is just to make it useful.”

Musk said that he intends to finish developing the robot, but is unsure about the timeframe of when development will start and finish, noting that he has hopes for a decent prototype of the robot/android in 2022.

Although still in its preliminary stage, the android is set to include Tesla’s autopilot computer which is currently used in its vehicles for navigation. In the robot, the software will enable it to recognize real-world objects.

The Tesla Bot is expected to stand around 5ft 8in height, and weigh around 120lbs, and will be equipped with its own customized sensors and actuators, enabling it to be bipedal.

“It's not exactly in Tesla's major mission directive of speeding the expansion of renewable energy, but making a humanoid robot capable of interacting with the environment and assisting in a variety of ways is a highly important thing for the globe,” said an optimistic Musk.

Musk promised that unlike other robots, the Tesla Bot could be very easily overpowered by the average person.

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