Tesla Bots coming soon - Robots that can even pickup groceries from stores

Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotic company: Elon Musk (AFP)
Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotic company: Elon Musk (AFP)

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Thursday said the electric automaker will probably launch a "Tesla Bot" humanoid robot prototype next year, designed for dangerous, repetitive, or boring work that people don't like to do.

Speaking at Tesla's AI Day event, the billionaire entrepreneur said the robot, which stands around five foot eight inches tall, would be able to handle jobs from attaching bolts to cars with a wrench, or picking up groceries at stores.

The robot would have "profound implications for the economy," Musk said, addressing a labour shortage. He said it was important to make the machine not "super-expensive."

The AI Day event came amid growing scrutiny over the safety and capability of Tesla's "Full Self-Driving" advanced driver assistant system.

The ‘Tesla Bot,’ a prototype of which should be available next year, is designed to eliminate “dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks," like bending over to pick something up, or go to the store for groceries, Musk said. “Essentially the future of physical work will be a choice."

“Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotic company," Musk said. “Our cars are basically semi-sentient robots on wheels."

The ‘Bot’ was the show stopper of the inaugural AI Day, which highlighted Tesla engineers giving highly technical presentations on the automaker’s autonomous driving functionality with a goal of recruiting talent to the Palo Alto, California-based company.

Musk didn't comment on that scrutiny over the safety of Tesla technology but said that he was confident of achieving full self-driving with higher safety than humans using current in-car cameras and computers.

U.S. safety regulators earlier this week opened an investigation into Tesla's driver assistant system because of accidents where Tesla cars crashed into stationary police cars and fire trucks.

Two U.S. senators have also called on the Fair Trade Commission to investigate Tesla's claims for its "Full Self-Driving" system.

At the event on Thursday Tesla also unveiled chips it designed in-house for its high-speed computer, Dojo, to help develop its automated driving system. Musk said Dojo would be operational next year.

He said Tesla will also introduce new hardware for its self-driving computer for its Cybertruck electric pick-up truck in "about a year or so."

Tesla in July pushed back the launch of its much-anticipated Cybertruck from this year, without giving a timeframe for its arrival on the market.

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