The Humanoid Tesla Robot is About to be Announced
A few days ago, Tesla finally announced their AI Day, which will be a keynote about the companies "latest developments in supercomputing and neural network training." As Elon tweeted earlier, the purpose of the event is recruiting. Talent in this space is difficult to hire, and Tesla needs to come up with something exciting.
Tesla has been working on self-driving technology for years, and Andrej Karpathy already has publicly demonstrated how their latest approach looks like. So the question is - what is Tesla going to unveil at this event? If they really want to hire the best AI talent on this planet, they better have something exciting to present.
Things got interesting recently, and the reason is Dennis Hong. Dennis is a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCLA and director at RoMeLa. "The Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory at UCLA is a facility for graduate and undergraduate robotics research and education, emphasising studying humanoid robots and novel mobile robot locomotion strategies." He tweeted about Teslas AI Day and also mentioned having an NDA with Tesla. Unfortunately, this tweet was deleted but can still be seen in the archives of the internet.
Another user on Twitter also asked Dennis Hong if he is going to be talking about the "Dojo Supercomputer", but Hong replied, saying, "Dennis Hong = (something else…)". So it seems like Tesla might be working with a leading expert for humanoid robotics. This shouldn't be a surprise because Musk said that: "Although right now people think of Tesla as a car company or as an energy company in a recent conference call. I think long term, people will think of Tesla as much as an AI robotics company as we are a car company or an energy company. I think we are developing one of the strongest hardware and software AI teams in the world."
The invitation to the event also left an interesting hint that got people excited: "Attendees will be among the first to see our latest developments in supercomputing and neural network training. They’ll also get an inside look at what’s next for AI at Tesla beyond our vehicle fleet."
So there is enough reason to be excited about a big announcement. But why should Tesla build a (humanoid) robot?
Remember the Tesla Snake that charges Teslas automatically? If not, have a look at the YouTube Video. This is one of the least exciting potential product announcements, but since Tesla is planning to launch a fleet of autonomous cars, complementary products should help keep the fleet maintained.
A less consumer-facing but more impactful product line could be within manufacturing. There are many potential improvements within manufacturing, and Teslas has been known for relentless optimisation. So robots powered by AI might be the leap into the next stage of manufacturing.
Always remember that Elon Musk is trying to colonise Mars. While his company SpaceX will solve the transportation problem, Tesla and their robots will be in charge to build the infrastructure on Mars. So even if completely dehumanising manufacturing on Earth might not be necessary, to accomplish the goal to colonise Mars, Musk is probably already thinking about how to build machines that build the machine, that builds the machines.