- Elon Musk said Tesla plans to build a humanoid robot during the company's AI Day.
- The CEO said the company hopes to develop a prototype for the robot by sometime next year.
- The "Tesla Bot" will use the same AI systems that help power the company's Full Self-Driving system.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the carmaker would be branching out into humanoid robots during the company's AI event on Thursday.
Musk unveiled the "Tesla Bot," a 5 ft. 8 in., 125-pound robot, at the event. He said the bot would have a screen where its face should be that will present information. According to the CEO, the humanoid robot will also be capable of dead-lifting 150 pounds and carrying about 45 pounds. Though, the bot will only travel about 5 miles per hour.
"We're setting it such that it is at a mechanical level, at a physical level, that you can run away from it and most likely overpower it," Musk quipped.
The bot will use Tesla's Autopilot software, according to Musk. It will be equipped with eight cameras to feed into the neural network that Tesla has developed for its FSD software.
The neural network emulates the functions of the human brain inasmuch as it allows the vehicle to analyze its surroundings via cameras and determine what it needs to do when it encounters obstacles by identifying and labeling different routes and images.
"Our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels," Musk said. "It kind of makes sense to put that [the software] on to a human-like [form] as well."
Musk said businesses would ideally use the bot to perform repetitive and dangerous tasks. He added the real test would be how the robot can navigate through the world without being explicitly told what to do.
"There will be profound applications for the economy. In the future, physical work will be a choice," Musk said.
The CEO offered a visual representation of what he wants the robot to look like, but Tesla has yet to build a functioning bot. He said the company plans to have a prototype developed by sometime next year.
Musk said the robot fits seamlessly into Tesla's mission and will be built with many of the same materials the company uses for its cars.
"We're making the pieces that would be useful for [building] a humanoid robot, so we should probably make it. If we don't, someone else will - and we want to make sure it's safe," Musk said.
While the Tesla founder did not give a specific deadline for the prototype's release, Musk is known for making big promises about future builds. At Tesla's last "Autonomous Day" Musk said Tesla would have "one million robotaxis on the road" by the end of 2020. However, the company has yet to release a fully autonomous car, as its current FSD software still requires a licensed operator to monitor the vehicle.