Tesla bots have learned to walk, but they’re not here to kill us… yet

The humanoid robots were seen handling objects for the first time in a creepy display of their capabilities.

Usually, when Elon Musk makes a promise, you can bet your house on it not being fulfilled. Back in 2015, he claimed he was “certain” totally autonomous cars would be ready by 2017… Three years later, there’s still no sign of them on the roads. Or Hyperloop, the high-speed transportation system that could complete a six hour journey in 30 minutes – whatever happened to that? But one thing that appears to certainly be happening is the arrival of Tesla Bots’.

Since Musk first introduced the company’s robots back in 2021, it feels as though we’ve taken a pretty significant leap into the future, particularly with the rise of Artificial Intelligence. The first few months of this year have brought us popular AI-Drake tracks that have rocked the music industry. Today, Sting told the BBC that “we have to be wary” when it comes to AI music, and he’s right. And when it comes to AI art, Midjourney is developing new versions rapidly, and the line between real and computer-generated is only getting thinner by the day. Clearly, we’re already past the point of no return.

With Musk firmly positioned as tech’s biggest villain, he’s now showing off his android’s latest advancements, and we’re surprised they’re not spouting about free speech or writing painfully unfunny tweets just yet.

In a video shared by the company, Tesla gave us our first look at the Bots in over two years, showcasing their current skill set, which includes environment discovery and memorisation (enabling the robots to navigate their surroundings with ease), completing “difficult” tasks, such as picking up and rotating objects, and walking autonomously. Tesla also showed off the Bots fine motor torque control, which allows the robot arms to gently tap objects such as an egg without breaking them. It’s all a bit too creepy, to be honest.

It’s well known by now that Tesla’s output is very hit and miss. For every success story, there’s a massive failure that quickly follows. Despite bringing innovative technology such as the Autopilot system to the forefront, there has been plenty of tech that has never entered production, including the Tesla Semi, a futuristic electric truck, and the Roadster, set to be the fastest production car ever made. So, it doesn’t make good reading for the Bots. They’re also rather primitive compared to other androids like the Boston Dynamics robot dog, which is capable of much more fluid movements, and can now even answer your questions thanks to ChatGPT. 

AI has advanced at an exponential rate over the last few years. As seen with the Tesla bot, and other androids, these pieces of technology are beginning to learn how to move and act just like us. Meanwhile, thanks to chatbots like Pi, they’re already displaying unimaginable signs of intelligence and efficiency. And the thought of those combining into one super robot is not only a terrifying one but one that will likely be brought to fruition sooner rather than later. Although, the Tesla Bots seem friendly enough.

WriterChris Saunders
Banner Image CreditTesla