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Tesla Announces Humanoid Robot and Layoffs, Coincidence?

Tesla Bot

Elon Musk has called on Tesla execs to freeze hiring worldwide and cut about 10% of the staff, according to Reuters. Then, coincidentally, Elon Musk tweeted that he may have a working prototype of Tesla’s previously announced humanoid robot. Coincidence, or just smoke and mirrors?

And while Tesla’s humanoid robot named “Optimus” won’t be taking jobs anytime soon, declaring that a working prototype may be ready by September is certainly a great distraction from the layoff news. Various reports say Musk has a “super bad feeling” about the economy, and he’s fed up with the remote work situation. Earlier this week, leaked emails show Musk saying that “remote work is no longer acceptable” and employees must return to the office or find work elsewhere.

Cutting jobs and requiring everyone else to stop remote work Is certainly not a good look for Tesla, but it’s also not the first time the automaker has announced layoffs. It’s just odd to me that the CEO is talking about humanoid robots immediately following the reports.

The company announced its Optimus robot at Tesla AI day in August of 2021, and Musk even said he hoped to have a working prototype sometime in 2022. Now, here we are, and that might come to fruition.

The Tesla Bot will be roughly 5’8″ tall and weigh 125 pounds. The original announcement suggested it can walk around 5MPH and carry groceries and other items upwards of 45 pounds. Tesla wants to design it to complete boring, dangerous, or menial tasks humans don’t want to do.

We’re told the AI robot could run a software version of Tesla’s autopilot driver-assist software and even respond to voice commands. For example, Musk said in the future, you could say, “Please pick up that bolt and attach it to the car with that wrench,” and Optimus will do precisely that.

According to Elon Musk, the company has now delayed its “AI Day 2022” event from August to September 30th as it may be able to show off a “working” prototype by then.

Obviously, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard lofty or outlandish goals from the company, but it’ll be interesting to see the condition of Tesla’s humanoid come September. Maybe it’ll work, or maybe we’ll get a dancing man in a robot suit. Your guess is as good as mine.

via DriveTeslaCanada

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »