Elon Musk claims his humanoid robot could go into production as soon as next year

“We have a chance to start production of a first version of Optimus, hopefully next year”, said Elon Musk about his humanoid robot project. An outing made on the occasion of the inauguration of the Tesla gigafactory in Austin, Texas. Decked out in a cowboy hat and sunglasses, the businessman was applauded like a rock star during this event. A context that does not help to take these remarks seriously.

These rather brief statements about Tesla’s future humanoid robot seemed, moreover, completely disjointed. He recycled very vague things already said before like “everything that humans won’t do, he will do”, “he will transform the world”, “we are entering an age of abundance”, “no Terminator stuff”.

A totally opaque project

The first time Elon Musk mentioned this machine was in August 2021, on Tesla’s AI day. He then specified that his robot would use the same chips and sensors as his cars and would be able to perform boring, dangerous or arduous tasks instead of humans. At the time, it was a question of presenting a prototype the following year. But for the moment, nothing has been presented and no article published. An entry into production in 2023 of a product that no one has ever seen before therefore seems rather unrealistic. But not completely impossible since the opacity remains total on the progress of the work.

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When we interviewed a series of robotics experts last year, they all assured us that it was possible to achieve a prototype in 12 months, but absolutely not to launch it in series. Moreover, it is absolutely unthinkable that Optimus is already able to walk in the street to go shopping, as Elon Musk had assured the first time. Today there are far too many technological obstacles, the first being that we do not know how to evolve humanoids in environments that are not controlled.

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