Is this the future of robotics ? Image Credit: Tesla / Elon Musk
The SpaceX and Tesla CEO is expanding his focus into robotics in the hope of one day bringing affordable robots to the masses.
It has been quite a while since we first heard that Elon Musk was developing a humanoid robot and now, at last, we've had the chance to see his latest creation in action.
Named 'Optimus' (in an obvious nod to the Transformers' Optimus Prime), the prototype robot made its debut appearance on stage at Tesla's AI Day event yesterday.
Attendees looked on as the robot slowly walked forward a few paces, waved to the audience and then even attempted a brief dance to the music that was playing in the background.
It would be fair to say that Optimus is still very much a work-in-progress - it moves extremely slowly, has wires sticking out all over the place and looks as though a slight breeze could knock it over.
Musk noted that its actions on stage had been limited to avoid having it "fall on its face" and instead showed a reel of clips of the robot performing basic tasks such as picking up boxes.
"Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible," he said.
"There's still a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and prove it."
Musk envisages that Optimus will one day be capable of performing all manner of useful tasks both at home and in the workplace while costing a relatively affordable sum of around $20,000.
While the robot is certainly impressive, however, it is still very limited and it's going to take a lot more development to make it into a viable and useful consumer product.
Eventually, though, it is certainly not unreasonable to imagine a world in which you might return home from work to find that one of these contraptions has done all the housework and made your dinner for you.
For those with disabilities in particular, Optimus could prove to be a revolutionary piece of kit.
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