Unveiled at Tesla AI Day 2021, the Tesla Bot is one item from Tesla Inc. TSLA that provides the electric vehicle leader with a new revenue stream.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently wrote an essay about some of the future use cases and targeted customers for the Tesla Bot.
“As technology accelerates, it may one day surpass human understanding and control. Some are optimistic and some are pessimistic," Musk wrote in China Cyberspace, a monthly magazine. "But I believe that as long as we are not complacent and always maintain a sense of urgency, the future of humanity will be bright, driven by the power of technology.”
And the smarter cars become, similar to “web-connected robots on wheels," it also makes humanoid robots a reality, Musk explained.
The Tesla Bot, which could see a prototype launch later this year, is close to the height and weight of an adult, has legs and an interactive screen interface.
“If we want a robot to adapt to its environment and be able to do what humans do, it has to be roughly the same size, shape and capabilities as a human,” Musk said.
The goal is for the Tesla Bot to serve “millions of households” with repetitive and boring tasks such as cooking, mowing lawns and taking care of the elderly.
“We plan to launch the first prototype of a humanoid robot this year and focus on improving the intelligence of that robot and solving the problem of large-scale production.”
Musk expects users of the Tesla Bot to increase every year as production scales up and costs fall. There's potential for the Tesla Bot to be cheaper than a car in the future, he says.
“Perhaps in less than a decade, people will be able to buy a robot for their parents as a birthday gift.”
Musk, who is also at the helm of Neuralink and SpaceX, believes there are wider-use cases for robots compared to Tesla cars.
“It is foreseeable that with the power of robots, we will create an era of extreme abundance of goods and services, where everyone can live a life of abundance," Musk said. "Perhaps the only scarcity that will exist in the future is for us to create ourselves as humans."
A new prototype of the Tesla Bot could be unveiled at the second AI Day from Tesla. Benzinga previously reported that the date of AI Day was pushed back a month to Sep. 30, 2022 instead of Aug. 19, 2022, with Musk suggesting a working prototype of the Tesla Bot could be “working by then.”
Not everyone is sold on the robot idea. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives previously called the Tesla Bot an “absolute head-scratcher” and was critical of the new product.
“While we appreciate Musk’s longer-term technology vision, a Tesla Bot is not what investors want to see with instead much more focus on chips, FSD, and reaccelerating China EV demand in this key market at a critical juncture,” Ives said.
Nevertheless, Musk continues to put focus on the program and its potential use cases.
“The importance of Optimus will become apparent in the coming years. Those who are insightful or listen carefully will understand Optimus will ultimately be worth more than the car business, worth more than FSD (full self-driving). That’s my firm belief,” Musk previously said in April.
Tesla AI Day could provide more use case examples. Investors should look for analyst updates after AI Day to see if their attitudes have changed on Tesla Bot and the potential market size estimates.
TSLA Price Action: Tesla shares are up 3% to $927.10 on Monday.
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