Tesla ( TSLA ) job postings show the electric vehicle maker is doubling down on humanoid robots.
Reuters recently reported that the company is developing ambitious plans to develop the Tesla Bot, also known as Optimus, with internal meetings and hiring for around 20 positions including software and firmware engineers, deep learning scientists, technicians actuator, and internships.
“Tesla is on the way to building bipedal humanoid robots at scale to automate repetitive and boring tasks,” said one job posting for a mechatronics technician. “More importantly, you will see your work sent over and over to thousands of Humanoid Robots within our factories and use them.”
Tesla posted most of the jobs under its Autopilot division, which is also working to deploy full self-driving capabilities for vehicles.
Elon Musk tweeted that the Autopilot team has “month-end deadlines” for the Tesla Bot and Autopark projects. Earlier in the summer, Musk hinted that a prototype of the robot could be unveiled at Tesla’s AI Day on September 30.
Musk’s vision for the five-foot-eight, 125-pound Optimus extends beyond the production lines of Tesla’s factories. In the end he sees an army of robots doing household chores and care work in millions of families.
“This, I think, could be more significant than the vehicle business over time,” Musk said on an earnings call in January.
Some on Wall Street, however, are skeptical.
Tesla investors and enthusiasts are still waiting for the Cybertruck, which is due out in 2023 after several delays, as well as the company’s promise of fully autonomous vehicles. The EV maker has expanded its Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta pilot to 160,000 Tesla owners as it scales its autonomous software program, though some have said the $15,000 price tag isn’t worth its current capabilities.
Musk has also touted the concept of an automated robotaxi, which is slated to be announced in 2023 and go into production in 2024.
And with deploying robots at scale, there are other deployment challenges.
Several companies have tried to develop humanoid robots – Hyundai’s Boston Dynamics, Honda, GM and NASA, Ford, Softbank, and others – although few projects have come to fruition.
According to Reuters, the robots had difficulty overcoming unexpected situations and completing unscripted tasks, like self-driving cars.
Grace is an assistant editor for Yahoo Finance.
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