Why Tesla, other automakers are investing so much into humanoid robots

Sushim Mukul
Sushim MukulMay 22, 2023 | 12:34

Why Tesla, other automakers are investing so much into humanoid robots

Tesla's Optimus can  walk, pick up and carry items, and perform basic tasks. (Photo Credit: Tesla)

During annual shareholders meeting recently, Elon Musk's Tesla unveiled an impressive footage of Optimus, the automobile company's humanoid robots.

The five droids were seen walking like humans, picking up items and even using gadgets. According to Musk, the humanoid robots, who he call his "companions", are expected to drive Tesla's majority of future worth.


As seen in the footage, the Optimus can utilize Tesla-designed motors, controllers, and electronics. The versatile robot is learning to perceive, map, and navigate its surroundings using the same technology as Tesla's self-driving Autopilot systems.


What are humanoid robots?

Humanoid robots are robots that are designed to resemble and perform tasks in a manner similar to humans. They are built with a human-like body structure, including a head, torso, arms, and legs.

The goal behind creating humanoid robots is to develop machines that can interact and operate in human environments, performing tasks that would typically require human skills and capabilities.

Other automakers with humanoid robots

  • Boston Dynamics, a struggling American company underwent multiple ownership changes before being acquired by Hyundai. Hyundai and Boston Dynamics announced their plans in August 2022 to invest over $400 million in an "AI and robotics-focused research organization" as their initial collaboration. The results were fantastic. The videos showing Boston Dynamics' Atlas running, jumping, backflipping, and dancing generated significant online attention.


  • Honda Motor's bipedal robot, Asimo, has been the company's face for two decades now, but it was not brought to the commercial market. Recently, Honda has shifted its focus towards creating robots for disaster relief purposes and remote surgical tasks.


  • Oregon-based Agility Robotics, in collaboration with Ford, has come up with Digit which is dedicated to possessing human-like capabilities to lift and transport objects within warehouse environments. They are also testing the humanoid to deliver packages from a delivery van to customers' doorsteps.


Why are automobile companies interested in humanoid robots?

  • Acknowledging the future of the automotive industry, automakers are actively exploring new opportunities and seeking the next phase of growth.
  • With their expertise in robotics and manufacturing, automakers are in a strong position to enter and capitalize on the expanding robotics market. Companies in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan already have extensive future plans for its application in the fields of medicine, biotechnology, entertainment, security, manufacturing, logistics, disaster aid etc. Enhanced AI integration into humanoids would impact education, companionship and daily living assistance.
  • AI integration in automobiles will eventually lead to fully-autonomous vehicles.
Last updated: May 22, 2023 | 12:34
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