HUmanoid robots may look funny, cute or strange, but they are definitely eye-catchers. But in robotics, this billion-dollar market that is growing and growing, they have not played a major role so far. They are currently good for marketing at best, but not bestsellers in the industry. You have to have a lot of imagination to imagine hundreds of them in action, whether in industry, gastronomy or in care.
As is well known, Elon Musk has a lot of imagination, and that is why he has just predicted a role for humanoid robots that they have been far removed from: In the coming months, the man who drives the entire car industry with Tesla wants to do it with SpaceX Revolutionized space travel and had Neuralink work on chips for the human brain with his company, introduce a humanoid who – 1.73 meters tall, weighs 57 kilos, has a load capacity of 20 kilos, name: Optimus – the future should belong to. Musk imagines that this robot could take over everyday tasks, such as shopping or caring for the elderly and the sick. The artificial intelligence (AI) systems that Tesla is developing for its electric cars, among other things, are intended to train him for this. And he has even more confidence in Optimus and Co.: Robotic humanoids have “the potential to become more important than the vehicle business over time,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
To classify: Tesla currently has a market value of around 800 billion dollars. And professional service robots only had global sales of 6.7 billion dollars last year. Heavy industrial robots do much more business – and their funny humanoid colleagues will probably not be able to compete with them in the foreseeable future. But Tesla is already the largest robotics company in the world, Musk trumpeted, since its battery vehicles are basically “robots on wheels”. Alone, Musk is not alone with his plans – and he is certainly not a pioneer of this development, at best a latecomer. Because the pioneering work was done in the Far East.
The Japanese car manufacturer Honda has been working on human-like robots since the 1980s. He taught his model, named Asimo, to walk more than 20 years ago. Toyota followed suit. The automaker launched a humanoid robot that could play the violin 15 years ago. The Taiwanese electronics group Foxconn then announced five years ago that it would completely staff the assembly lines in its factories with robots. The so-called Foxbots are in-house developments. However, these machines are more like a classic industrial robot. Musk is more based on the humanoid robots à la Honda or Toyota. At the end of September he wants to bring his creations to the stage during the in-house exhibition “Tesla Ai Day”. He probably already has a name: Tesla-Bot. Let them work in his car factories.