Elon Musk said Thursday that his company Tesla is currently developing a new humanoid robot that would be used to work "boring, repetitive, and dangerous" jobs. The Tesla CEO made the claim at his company's AI Day.
Musk teased the audience watching Tesla's live-streamed event that his robot should be able to do work people don't like to do. He said Tesla should unveil a prototype of the robot sometime next year.
Musk said the robot would have a screen on its face so that it could display "useful information." The billionaire investor did not say if the robot would be commercially available or how much it would cost.
Musk said the work to build a humanoid robot would extend Tesla's efforts to build a fully autonomous vehicle. He said the robot would likely use the same sensors and technologies that its vehicles use to navigate its environment.
Musk talked about how Tesla's robot would have a "profound" impact on society and the economy during his speech. He added that a universal basic income would have to be established, given that physical would soon become a choice for most people in the future. Musk then disclaimed that these things are not likely to happen immediately as Tesla's robot still "doesn't work."
Elon Musk says Tesla is working on humanoid robots https://t.co/3amBRrHJDV pic.twitter.com/Q9fnFxPRMz — The Verge (@verge) August 20, 2021
Humanoid robots taking over human physical labor has long been a dream of futurists and investors, including Musk. Experts have cautioned that when this does happen, people could soon find themselves without any jobs. For this reason, some have advocated the implementation of a universal basic income system.
Even the most advanced robots today still can't perform complicated tasks, which humans can easily perform. For now, robots have been restricted to basic tasks in controlled environments such as carrying goods and other repetitive operations. While artificial intelligence technologies have improved significantly over the past few years, the capabilities of modern AI still fall behind the abilities of even a human toddler.
Some experts said that people should not be so hasty to discredit Musk's claims. His work at Tesla and SpaceX, which have disrupted the auto and space industries, proves his ability to walk to the talk. However, he is also known for overpromising and under-delivering.