May 22, 2024

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As a prescripted demo shows, Tesla’s robot is ‘ok’ at folding laundry

2 min read
Tesla's Robot Demonstrates Adequate Laundry Folding Skills under Pre-arranged Conditions, According to Elon

The latest development from Tesla is the Optimus humanoid robot designed by Elon Musk, which has been recorded folding a t-shirt on a table in the company’s facility. While the robot appears to be efficient in this task, Musk later revealed additional details that slightly diminish the excitement surrounding its domestic capabilities.

To begin with, I am capable of folding shirts at a faster pace than that. Secondly, Optimus was not functioning independently, which is clearly the ultimate goal. Instead, the robot is merely mimicking a costly marionette or a modern version of the initial basic automotons, following predetermined movements to complete its designated task. According to Musk, in the future, it will certainly have the ability to do this without any external limitations, such as the specific table height and the solitary piece of clothing in the strategically positioned basket, as seen in this demonstration.

Elon Musk shared a picture of Optimus folding a shirt on Twitter on January 15, 2024.

According to recent highlight reels released by Tesla, the company has demonstrated impressive technical abilities. However, it is probable that these demonstrations are carefully planned and pre-programmed to showcase the bot’s advanced joints, servos, and limbs rather than its artificial intelligence. When considering Elon’s caveat, it can be interpreted as saying that the most challenging tasks will occur at a later time.

Creating a humanoid machine that is capable of handling soft materials, such as clothing, in a way that resembles human interaction is certainly an impressive achievement in animatronics. However, it would be a stretch to compare this feat to the capabilities of Optimus as a fully-functional domestic servant, which can perform all the tasks of a human domestic worker it may replace. This would be akin to showing a video of a wooden marionette and stating that it will soon become a real boy.

According to Musk, events will occur within a timeframe that is illogical. However, his statement, made at the initial launch of the bot prototype, that it would happen in “three to five years” (excluding the previous year when it was a person in a suit) is comical considering its current state and the overall state of robotic technology.

In short, do not immediately change your laundry folding schedule.

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