Tesla, the maker of the so-called S3XY lineup of electric cars, has released an update video showing what its humanoid bot called Optimus can do, including adapting to changing environment conditions.
Titled “Tesla Bot Update | Sort & Stretch,” the new production (embedded above) shows how far development on the two-legged robot has advanced since its announcement in 2021 when a literal human dressed in a costume went on stage and did an awkward dance that was put to rest by Elon Musk saying, “Alright, thank you!”
Now, Optimus can self-calibrate its arms and legs using only vision and joint position encoding that allows it to precisely locate its limbs in space. Once calibrated correctly, the robot can learn to do various tasks more efficiently, like autonomously sorting blocks by color, as well as repositioning them correctly if they’re not placed upright on the trays.
Furthermore, after a human intervenes and moves some of the blocks, the bot can adapt and reposition the items as it was trained to do.
Tesla says in the video that the machine’s neural net runs entirely on-board, using only vision, with the description saying that the neural network is trained fully end-to-end with video-in, and controls-out.
It’s a similar approach to what the company has tried to do with the so-called Full Self-Driving feature in its lineup of passenger cars. Back in May, CEO Elon Musk said in a comment on X that FSD version 12 is reserved for when the system is end-to-end run by artificial intelligence, from images-in to steering-, brakes-, and acceleration-out.
Besides showing the robot’s ability to learn various simple and repetitive tasks, the update video also gives us a glimpse into Optimus’ balancing prowess, including stretching on a single foot “after a long day of work” and greeting enthusiasts with a faceless “Namaste.”
In a previous video from May, Tesla showed how its robot could walk, memorize environments, and pick up things, as well as drop them off.
When it was first announced in 2021 during the firm’s AI Day event, Optimus was touted as a machine designed to do dangerous, repetitive, or boring work that people don’t like to do. Back then, the tech details revealed the humanoid bot would measure 5’8” tall, weigh 125 pounds, and have a 5-miles-per-hour top speed, so that “you can run away from it and most likely overpower it,” as Musk said.