Tesla’s Plans to Democratize Humanoid Robots

Elon is a major science fiction geek, naming products like Grok, Plaid, Falcon, and Starship, so it’s no surprise he set named his robot Optimus, from the kinder, gentler ilk of science fiction rather than call it something like Terminator. “We want for it [Optimus] to be an android, the kind of android that you’ve seen in sci-fi [series] like Star Trek: The Next Generation, like Data.”

Elon has acknowledged that some humanoid robots (e.g., Atlas by Boston Dynamics) may appear to do more in terms of functionality—ranging from flips to parkour—but as we shall see, that isn’t the mission for Optimus.

Elon’s intent for Optimus to mass produce highly useful, generalized, cost-effective labor. His ultimate goal is to manufacture millions of them and to sell them for as little as $20,000 each.

If Tesla can achieve this vision of manufacturing Optimus robots at scale, then the company will completely reshape the global economy and society. After all, historically labor has accounted for over 50% of global GDP.

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