Elon Musk Sets 2025 Launch for Optimus: Tesla’s Next Major Move?

April 24, 2024
2 mins read
Tesla Optimus Gen-2 Humanoid robot. Tesla Rati (CC BY 3.0 DEED)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk updated the launch timeline for Tesla’s humanoid robot Optimus during the company’s earnings conference call on Tuesday. Musk claimed that Optimus could be officially available for sale by the end of 2025.

Currently, several tech companies worldwide are betting on the humanoid robot market to address potential labor shortages and aim to replace humans in logistics, warehousing, retail, and manufacturing industries, performing dangerous or monotonous repetitive tasks.

In the latest earnings call, Musk informed investors that Optimus is already capable of performing factory tasks in the lab and believes it will be able to perform tasks in a real Tesla factory by the end of this year.

Musk also mentioned the company’s artificial intelligence capabilities during Tuesday’s call, stating, “I think Tesla is the most capable of mass-producing humanoid robots among all manufacturers.”

In September 2022, Tesla first introduced its initial vision for the humanoid robot Optimus, then named Bumblebee. At the end of last year, without any prior announcement, Tesla released a working video of its new generation humanoid robot, Optimus Gen 2.

Musk announced that the humanoid robot Optimus might be available for sale as soon as the end of next year! Netizens wonder: Can it really be that soon?

Compared to previous versions, the new prototype robot has many improvements. According to the video presentation at the time, the second-generation Optimus features: actuators and sensors designed by Tesla, a 2-degree-of-freedom driven neck, faster-responsive 11-degree-of-freedom dexterous hands, tactile sensors (ten fingers), integrated electronics and wiring in actuators, foot force/torque sensors, and articulated toes.

Moreover, the second-generation Optimus has significantly enhanced performance: a 30% increase in walking speed, a 10 kg reduction in weight, and improved balance and full-body control.

It’s worth mentioning that Musk previously stated that robot sales might exceed other sectors like car manufacturing in Tesla’s business and optimistically projected that Optimus would constitute “a large part of Tesla’s long-term value.” He also anticipated that the demand for this robot could eventually reach 10 to 20 billion units and believed that Optimus’s final selling price could be “less than half of a car,” around $25,000.

Undoubtedly, while Tesla’s stock price surged 10% overnight, more excitement may stem from Musk’s commitment to launching more affordable new models. However, the prospect of the humanoid robot Optimus potentially being available by the end of next year is also quite a surprise for many investors following this market.

However, given Musk’s history of not fulfilling bold promises to Wall Street, some industry insiders and netizens are still skeptical about this latest timeline.

Musk had previously told investors that Tesla would operate a “robotaxi” autonomous taxi network by 2020, but to date, this concept has not yet materialized.

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Similarly, products like the Cybertruck have been repeatedly delayed. Currently, Tesla’s electric pickup, Cyberchuck, is only available in the United States.

Some netizens have sarcastically commented on the social media platform X, saying, “If Optimus’s timeline is like the electric pickup, the final launch date will be in 2032.”

However, given the current global investment wave and rapid development in the humanoid robot market, Tesla and Musk may indeed need to seize the opportunity by launching Optimus by the end of next year.

Recently, Boston Dynamics announced that its fully electric Atlas humanoid robot, which has been in development for years, will soon be commercialized. A video released last Wednesday shows the new Atlas robot with a more lightweight mechanical skeleton and smoother movements, such as being able to stand up from the ground and rotate its head 180 degrees, almost unmatched in flexibility. Even Musk joined in the buzz by posting a spooky photo mocking the situation.

Earlier this year, the Microsoft and Nvidia-supported startup Figure announced that it had signed a cooperation agreement with German car manufacturer BMW to deploy humanoid robots in its U.S. factories.

If the development of the global humanoid robot market accelerates further, Tesla may indeed need to take the lead by launching Optimus by the end of next year.

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