Tesla AI Day Robot Liveblog

Tesla’s AI Day live stream event is supposed to start in about 5 minutes. We’ve published some articles leading up to today’s event about what might be included, but there have been virtually no leaks about what will actually be covered. We will see! You can watch the live stream on Tesla’s website or via the embedded YouTube player below, but I’ll also be live blogging some highlights and my thoughts here. Every time I add a new highlight/comment I will update this blog. Stay tuned or check back later for the full roundup of Tesla AI Day highlights and additional commentary.

9:17 AM (ET): The Optimus robot shown last year was just a person dancing in a robot suit!!

9:25: The goal is to make one useful humanoid robot as fast as possible.

This is a lot like the robot Tesla plans to bring to market, but it can’t walk yet (maybe in ~3 weeks, says Elon Musk):

Elon Musk expects the Optimus robot to cost less than $20,000.

9:28: Musk is now also talking about “a future of abundance, a future without poverty.” It sounds nice, but that’s not how the world works. Nevertheless, I think it underscores Musk’s dream of helping humanity on a massive scale. One could also say that it represents an unrealistic idealism and an exaggerated belief in the potential of technology to solve fundamental problems of inequality and poverty around the world.

9:34: (This is from earlier, but I’m just writing about it.) They showed a video of the Optimus robot doing some useful tasks, from working in a factory to watering plants. Here are a few pictures of the robot in action, as well as what it sees:

9:40 AM: Tesla uses its vast knowledge and technological know-how from creating the safest cars in the world to protect the Optimus robot.

9:52: Tesla engineers talked at length about why the Optimus robot is designed to be like a human, and some of the many details of how it achieves that goal.

9:50am: This included talking about human hands and robot hands, human walking and robot walking and more.

9:59 AM: Tesla is now looking to start using this robot in Tesla factories to take it to the next stage of development.

10:00: “All this was done in barely 6 to 8 months.”

It’s an amazing achievement and looks set to be another huge, transformative product from Tesla. That said, it’s also quite expensive, and one has to wonder who will find its capabilities worth paying for over the next few years or more. We’ll see!

10:03 AM: Tesla’s head of Autopilot (apart from Elon Musk himself), Ashok Elluswamy, is now talking about the Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta.

10:07 AM: I won’t lie — after a year of FSD Beta and no serious improvement as far as I could see (maybe even decentralization), none of this part of the presentation impresses me at this point.

In short: it’s complicated. But will it work?

10:32: At this point the presenters are convincing me that FSD software will take years to get decent. The level of complication here and how they handle it makes me think this will require so much development and refinement that we are far, far away from robot axis level driving.

11:30: It is now almost an hour later. Tons of details were presented at the Tesla FSD and Dojo in the past hour. We will publish more about what was presented there in another piece. I just want to repeat: In short: it’s complicated. But will it work?

12:24: It’s over. Are you missing something? You will soon be able to watch the 3-hour presentation and Q&A on Tesla’s YouTube channel.


 

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