Elon Musk presented his first prototypes of humanoid robots on Friday. He already sees himself revolutionizing the market, but is still far from it. For how long?
After cars, rockets or even batteries, it’s now officially time for humanoid robots. Last Friday, Elon Musk presented the first prototypes of Optimus, his new entrepreneurial project. His ambition, this time, is to popularize human-looking robots, supposed to help the general public with a series of tasks. In three to five years, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX would see each other well massively market its robots, at a relatively affordable price and “cheaper than a car”.
If this Friday’s demonstration necessarily caught the eye, it didn’t really impress many people. The prototypes of the Musk genius move hesitantly (or not at all) at the moment and are currently limited to basic tasks, such as watering plants, waving to crowds or carrying small packages.
A priori therefore, nothing very revolutionary. Especially compared to other projects already in development elsewhere. At first glance, the possibility of seeing Elon Musk’s project end up in oblivion seems real. It wouldn’t really be a first. By dint of launching a new business with almost every idea, the entrepreneur, a bit pretentious, is sometimes mistaken.
Ads that are too ambitious
On the side of the a little too promising announcements, we will point to its ambitions on the side of robotaxis. In 2019, the American announced that one million autonomous vehicles would be produced the following year and that from 2022, the group would start producing cars without pedals or steering wheels. We are far from it.
Other ideas widely put forward by Musk also seem to have been floundering for several years. Its Hyperloop, supposed to be a solution to traffic jams in big cities, is also still far from being developed.. During one of the first full-scale demonstrations a few months ago, the traffic jams of Tesla cars in the tunnel had also been widely commented on.
If the man has a few failures to his credit, they are not about to overshadow the revolutions he has managed to initiate in the world of electric mobility or the conquest of space.
Some revolutions announced for years are still slow to see the light of day. On the side of SpaceX, Elon Musk had also expressed his desire to set up travel around the world by rocket with, for example, a Paris-New York in thirty minutes. There too, the practice of the announcements of the boss seems very remote.
Burying the entrepreneur’s hopes too quickly, however, would be a bad idea. If the man has a few failures to his credit, these are not not about to overshadow the revolutions he managed to initiate in the world of electric mobility or the conquest of space.
The best armed ecosystem
A year ago, when he unveiled his intentions for Optimus, many analysts doubted the advanced timetable. The results obtained in just a few months show the speed with which the entrepreneur is able to apprehend a market and settle there. According to several experts, the possibility that Musk’s robots will be ready within a handful of years, so it’s not impossible. Today, Musk’s ecosystem is also one of the best equipped in the world in terms of knowledge in automation and artificial intelligence. That is the essential knowledge to meet this challenge.
It remains to be seen what concrete applications Musk’s robots will be able to fulfill. In order to promote it as best as possible, the entrepreneur intends to use his creations in his factories. The project also serves as a showcase for the group to attract engineers. But from there to replacing humans in the most thankless tasks or putting an end to poverty in the world, as he advanced during his presentation, the path looks very long. Even impractical.
The humanoid robot, a worldwide interest
With this new project, Elon Musk is embarking on a already highly coveted market by many companies. Some have already been active for more than a decade on their project. Today, Sophia the robot, is often mistakenly considered the most advanced humanoid robot on earth. Started by company Hanson Robotics in 2015, it is equipped with a package of technologies enabling it in particular tocarry on a conversation or recognize a face. Based on social mimicry, its real interest nevertheless remains very limited.
Other projects, on the other hand, are much more elaborate. As for the other companies active on the market, the American company Boston Dynamics is one of the most prominent, notably via its robot dog capable of carrying out reconnaissance and security missions. The company is also developing a humanoid robot whose faculties to move are today the most complete on the market. Let us also mention the projects of Pal Robotics, Toyota or Kawada Roboticswho have all been developing robots for several years already capable of reproducing human movements, carrying heavy loads or intervening in industrial production chains.
- Elon Musk presented his first prototypes of humanoid robots last week.
- If the presentation was eagerly awaited, it did not impress many people.
- The entrepreneur today is far from what the competition is already doing.
- It does, however, have one of the best ecosystems in the world to catch up.