Elon Musk’s New Baby Is This Robot

But humanoid robots are possible. Aitken pointed to those currently being developed by companies like Boston Dynamics: models that are usually designed for a certain repetitive task or series of motions.

“They’re very, very capable robots designed for very, very specific purposes,” he said. “They’re not applied within a highly dexterous manufacturing process, which is what we’re looking at in terms of Tesla.”

Aitken suggested that humanoid robots are likely not suited for the challenges of many manufacturing processes.

“The thing I was more concerned about reading some of the news on this is that Musk was talking about lifting, carrying, and moving things,” Aitken said. “I understand the reasons behind that: They’re the type of things you want to do on the manufacturing shop floor. But I don’t get why you wouldn’t just do that with existing wheeled robots.”

Strathearn said that if we see a version of Optimus on Sept. 30, it’s important to remember that it’s a prototype.

“What [Musk] means by prototype here is most likely a very early-stage robot controlled in part, if not totally, by a human operator,” Strathearn said. “If it is fully automated, it will be in a very controlled environment with markers laid out for path planning and action planning.”

He added that, despite the hype, some realism is necessary.

“Either way, don’t expect to have one of these in your home anytime soon,” he said, “and if you do, it won’t be doing the dishes or cooking for you.” ●