Tesla is looking to create a humanoid robot that is sure to draw comparisons to Star Trek’s beloved android Data.
Elon Musk has been a major critic of artificial intelligence, leading him to cofound OpenAI in an effort to ensure AI research and development is done in a responsible way. Tesla is working to build on that research with the Tesla Bot.
The company’s describes the project’s goal:
Develop the next generation of automation, including a general purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring. We’re seeking mechanical, electrical, controls and software engineers to help us leverage our AI expertise beyond our vehicle fleet.
Recognizing the potential danger such a robot could pose (think I, Robot), Musk has said the robot is “intended to be friendly.” In addition, Tesla is designing the robot so that at “at a mechanical level, a physical level, you can run away from it [its top speed is 5 MPG] and most likely overpower it.”
In the presentation announcing the company’s plans, Musk drew a direct comparison to Tesla’s vehicles, saying the company was already one of the biggest robotics makers on the planet. Taking its existing advancements and applying them to a humanoid robot was the next evolution of the company’s ambitions.