At the electric vehicle manufacturer's "AI Day" event on Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk displayed his much-heralded humanoid robot "Optimus."
In an effort to move beyond self-driving cars, which despite his repeated pledges have yet to materialize, the billionaire has said that a robot business will be more valuable than its cars.
The robot's prototype entered the stage and waved to the audience members who were seated.
The automaker's factory was seen in a video with the robot carrying a package, watering plants, and moving metal bars.
Musk stated at the event held at the Tesla office in Palo Alto, California, "Our goal is to develop an usable humanoid robot as rapidly as possible.
" To perfect Optimus and demonstrate it, a lot of effort remains.
Currently available humanoid robots, according to Musk, are "missing a brain," meaning they lack the intelligence to successfully traverse their environment on their own.
They are also incredibly expensive and produced in small quantities.
In contrast, he claimed, Optimus would be a "highly capable robot" that would eventually be produced in millions of units at a cost that was far lower than that of a car, at under $20,000.
Musk was also supposed to talk about Tesla's long-delayed autonomous vehicle technology.
The world's most valuable automaker faces rising regulatory inquiries in addition to technology challenges, and the CEO stated in May that without reaching full self-driving capability, it would be "worth virtually zero."
Musk posted on Twitter late on Wednesday that the gathering was intended to find engineers and promised "plenty of technical information & interesting hardware demos."
Tesla's track record for live demonstrations is uneven. Launches usually elicit applause, but in 2019, Musk had a worker throw a steel ball at the armored window of a new electric pickup truck, causing the glass to shatter.
The robot's ability to handle unusual circumstances will be its biggest test.
At Tesla's AI Day in August of last year, Musk unveiled the company's plan for humanoid robots.
This year's event was postponed until the robot prototype was operational with a view to beginning manufacturing as early as next year.
With a picture of metallic robotic hands forming the shape of a heart, Tesla teased the launch of the bot on social media.
However, according to Heni Ben Amor, an Arizona State University robotics professor, creating human-like, adaptable hands that can operate various items is incredibly difficult.
According to Musk, at first, Optimus would do tedious or hazardous tasks like moving parts around Tesla plants or tightening a bolt to a car with a wrench, a reference to the strong and kind-hearted commander of the Autobots in the Transformers media series.
"There are so many dexterous human abilities that robots find extremely challenging.
And it won't alter whether the robot is an arm-shaped robot or a humanoid-shaped robot, said Jonathan Hurst, chief technical officer of Agility Robotics, a company that makes humanoid robots, to Reuters.
According to Musk, in the future, robots may be utilized in households to perform tasks like cooking, mowing the yard, taking care of the elderly, and even acting as a human's "buddy" or sex partner.
He is also expected to provide details at the event on Friday regarding Tesla's Dojo high-speed computer, which was debuted last year and is supposed to be crucial to the company's efforts to build self-driving technology.
Musk has stated that he anticipates Tesla will achieve fully autonomous driving this year and to mass-produce a robotaxi that is devoid of a steering wheel and pedal by 2024.
Musk pledged to deliver 1 million robotaxis by 2020 during a "Autonomy" event in 2019, but the vehicle has not yet materialized.