Tesla Bot: what, how, and why


Rendered concept for the Tesla Bot. Photo courtesy of CNET and Quinn Eyman

   At Tesla’s ‘AI Day’, CEO Elon Musk announced his newest technological endeavor, the Tesla Bot, a robot that looks and functions like a human. Is this the start of the future, or a setup for the robot apocalypse?

   The ‘Tesla Bot’ is an AI (artificial intelligence) driven robot that is shaped, sized, and has the appearance of a human. The bot is planned to be five feet and eight inches tall, 125 pounds, and move at speeds up to five miles an hour. While this is all still in the design phase, Tesla plans for the bot to “probably have… a prototype sometime next year” according to Musk himself.

   Beneath the robot’s shiny black and white surface is the FSD (full self-driving) technology that Tesla has been developing for their vehicles. In fact, a majority of the hardware and software used in the bot is,  “making use of all of the same tools we use in the [tesla brand] car,” said Musk. Cameras are built into the ‘head’ designed around supporting autopilot functionality. Along with highly developed AI, lightweight materials, 40 mechanical actuators, and force feedback sensors will all be utilized.

   What does Tesla, or average consumers, have to gain from this? “The robot’s intended use is to eliminate dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks,” according to Musk and his presentation. The ‘Tesla Bot’ will be built to navigate through the world, one built by humans, making it ideal for tasks such as going to the store and other similar errands. As for Tesla, this would be a showpiece demonstration of the AI and self-driving technology that has been in vehicles since 2014, according to an article on Electrek

   Should people be worried about an AI robot apocalypse takeover? No. While the Tesla Bot may be big, fast, and strong enough to perform basic mundane tasks humans perform today, it is only strong enough to complete those tasks. “We’re setting [the bot] so that… you can run away from it and most likely overpower it… five miles an hour, you can run faster than that, you’ll be fine,” said Musk. Since the bot also relies on Tesla’s self-driving technology, there is little to worry about due to the technology being not yet close to dangerously sentient. The ‘Tesla Bot’ is shaping up to be a piece of technology that advances humanity further into a sci-fi reality.