During Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Elon Musk revealed that the automotive giant is betting hard on the Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot. Musk said it is “the most important product” the company is currently developing, and placed above upcoming releases such as the Cybertruck and the Roadster.
As reported by CNBC, Tesla is working in Optimus, a humanoid robot, which is set to become the most ambitious project for the automaker in 2022. The robot is part of a product catalog that Tesla is working on that includes other exciting projects besides electric vehicles.
Musk said of Optimus: “I think it has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.”
The project was revealed last August during the company’s “AI Day” when the billionaire went on to say “it probably won’t work,” but also said he hoped the Tesla could have a prototype next year.
An ambitious project, the Tesla Bot might never see the light. However, Musk said it could have the potential to transform the economy if it manages to do tasks that currently only humans can.
Musk added during the call: “If you think about the economy, it is —the foundation of the economy is labor.”
“Capital equipment is distilled labor. So what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about, so [it’s] very important,” he said.
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Despite the great advancements in robotics for business or manufacturing purposes, human input is still needed to carry out several tasks.
In that regard, Musk said, “[Optimus is] intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate through a world of humans, and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks.”
Tesla’s AI director Andrej Karpathy said Optimus is “on track to become the most powerful AI development platform.”
“We are also applying everything we’ve learned to our humanoid robot ‘Tesla Bot,’ which I believe is on track to become the most powerful AI development platform,” he added.
Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.