Gary has worn a lot of hats through the years. He is passionate about business ownership, investing, and practical entrepreneurship.
Tesla's Optimus Robot Worker
On Tesla's AI day, it recently revealed its humanoid robot called Optimus, which it plans on designing for the purpose of serving the home, office and industrial markets in the years ahead.
What's impressive about the robot is it was just last year's AI day that it announced its plans to design the robot, which was in the early stages of its development.
I think it's interesting to compare the appearance of Optimus with the two main robots from Star Wars: C-3PO and R2D2. I don't think it's a coincidence that Elon Musk and Tesla decided to go with a robot that had similar features to C-3PO, because it makes an emotional connection to humans that is different than R2D2 does.
The C-3PO Look
I think the reason behind the C-3PO or humanoid look is to make an immediate connection between people and Optimus. It's one thing to have the types of robots that work in an Amazon.com fulfillment center, and one that appears to have human characteristics.
While Tesla probably wouldn't confirm one way or the other that having a look that people can easily relate to was part of its design strategy for Optimus, I believe it's without a doubt their teams, who are very smart, in fact did take this into consideration, and made their design decisions accordingly.
When Optimus is ready for prime time, it seems to me the market will quickly accept the robot because of its design, as well as what tasks it is able to do.
What Optimus Can Do
An incredible accomplishment of Tesla is that it was able to bring Optimus from an idea to a prototype in only a few months. This is the result of Tesla's AI, machine learning, and iteration, which has developed to the stage it can rapidly apply its expertise to many different products and services it's interested in competing in.
As mentioned above, Optimus is being developed for the purpose of performing various tasks in home, office and industrial environments. In order to perform these tasks, it has the ability to bend up and down, lift things that have some weight to them, and for a finer touch, it is designed with surprising dexterity will allows it to hold and use smaller tools like a screwdriver.
The fact that Tesla and Elon Musk have accomplished this in only a few months, speaks to the extraordinary potential Optimus has as they continue to improve the robot.
The goal of Tesla is the drive costs down to under $20,000 so it can be afforded by a significant number of corporate and individual customers.
In bringing Optimus from an idea to a prototype in a few months is an extraordinary accomplishment. If the demand is high for the purpose it is being created for, this could end up being as big as the EV revenue Tesla generates.
The market for robots like this could be larger than the EV market in the near term, and at around $20,000 a pop, it has the potential to be a huge market in the years ahead.
A major reason why is the aging population in the U.S. and other developed nations that would need robots to fill in the gaps where it's hard to find enough workers to perform specific tasks.
I think it's brilliant idea to make the robots to look like humanoids and C-3PO, rather than, well, a robot. It should increase the acceptance and adoption of the robots in homes, offices and businesses, faster than those that don't generate the emotional connection Optimus will.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.