Electric vehicle maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has unveiled plans to build a humanoid robot called Tesla Bot that will perform menial tasks and work that humans don’t want to do.
“We’ll probably have a prototype next year,” said Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk at the company’s annual “AI Day,” a series of technology talks hosted by Tesla that’s used to recruit machine learning talent.
The Tesla Bot is an example of Elon Musk’s showmanship, in which he announces that Tesla is working on exciting products scheduled for years into the future to energize backers, including employees, customers and investors.
If a humanoid robot works and can perform repetitive tasks that only humans can do today, it has the potential to transform the world economy by driving labor costs down, said Musk. However, Musk warned that it will take some time before the robot works effectively.
“It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate through a world of humans, and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks,” Musk said at the AI Day event.
Musk said the robot, code-named “Optimus,” is based on the same microchips and sensors that Tesla’s cars use for self-driving features. It’s five foot eight inches tall and has a screen where the head is for useful information.
Tesla is designing the robot so that humans will be able to run away from it or overpower it, if needed.
Images displayed by Tesla showed that Autopilot cameras will be installed in the bot’s head. It will be able to carry 45 pounds, lift 150 pounds and weigh 125 pounds. It will be able to run five miles per hour.