Is Elon Musk Gaslighting Us with a Humanoid Robot?

Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Leave it to Elon Musk to create something that we supposedly can eventually buy for the low, low cost of $20,000.

But what do his new humanoid Optimus robots actually do?

Well, based on the introduction, it can take a clunky first step. Musk unveiled the robot last week, referring to it as a “fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.” He added that it will eventually help “millions of people.”

One of the two robots Musk displayed sported shiny arms and legs and gave the crowd a wave. It did a catwalk of sorts, moving toward onlookers, then turning around and heading back to where it started. But instead of a pretty face and fashionable clothing, it featured blinking lights and a bunch of visible wires.

“The robot can actually do a lot more,” Musk said, after insisting that this display was “literally the first time the robot has operated without a tether, onstage.”

Tesla Optimus Robot

Per reports, these Tesla robots will first be used primarily to help manufacture cars. Still, Musk has bigger plans, eventually selling them for the $20,000 apiece mentioned above. He eventually wants to roll them out by the millions, “taking advantage of hardware, software, manufacturing and supply chain advantages developed for its car business,” wrote Steven Shankland of CNET.

That said, perfecting these bots won’t be easy. For starters, the robot that walked sort of looked like he could’ve used a cane, or a push, moving as if he were secretly creeping up on somebody.

But that won’t slow down Musk.

“The number of situations where Optimus is useful will grow exponentially,” he said. “Really, really fast.”

On the bright side, the robots are being made safe, so that they cannot take over the world. Or at least that’s what Musk said, insisting the robots will be “governed by some laws of robotics that you cannot overcome, like not doing harm to others.”

Well, that’s a relief. Then again, based on first impressions, it won’t take much to run (or even just walk rapidly) away if a robot is chasing you.

What do you think?

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