Tesla recently unveiled some advances on what many call the “Tesla Bot” but the company calls Optimus.
A video released by the company shows the robot standing at a table and sorting blocks by color, and able to reorient the blocks that are standing on end.
This capability is a significant advancement for the robot that Elon Musk announced last year, and many insiders laughed off as a sideshow to distract from Musk’s negative press related to his acquisition and dismantling of Twitter.
Many in fact believed that the robot was a complete fake created by CGI.
The remarkable part of the video is the use of a robot “hand” to sort the blocks which is believed to be a significant advancement for robotics.
But even this video still hasn’t convinced some skeptics who think the smooth movement and rapid advancement of the robot are too good to be believed.
Many robotics makers have solved the problems of “seeing” and using robotic arms to move objects, but the complexities of creating a human-like hand with four fingers and an opposable thumb have proven difficult.
Many believe that the hand movements are trained by behavior cloning from humans making the movements much more graceful and natural.
Tesla is obviously focusing on vertical integration of its many R&D projects related to artificial intelligence, silicon firmware, and neural networks that will help it create a truly remarkable robot.
The concept of a semi-autonomous robot that is capable of using a neural network to see, map, and interact with its environment is has major implications.