But humanoid robots are possible. Aitken pointed to the ones currently being developed by companies like Boston Dynamics: models that are generally designed for a certain repetitive task or series of movements.
“They are very, very capable robots designed for very, very specific purposes,” he said. “They’re not applied within a highly skilled manufacturing process, which is what we’re seeing in terms of Tesla.”
Aitken suggested that humanoid robots are probably not suited to the challenges of many manufacturing processes.
“The thing that worried me the most when reading some of the news on this is that Musk was talking about lifting, carrying and moving things,” Aitken said. “I understand the reasons behind that – it’s the kind of thing you want to do in the fabrication shop. But I don’t understand why you wouldn’t do that with existing wheeled robots.”
Strathearn said that if we see a version of Optimus on September 30, it’s important to remember that it’s a prototype.
“What [Musk] A prototype here will most likely be a very early-stage robot controlled in part, if not entirely, by a human operator,” Strathearn said. “If it’s fully automated, you’ll be in a very controlled environment with markers set for route planning and action planning.”
He added that, despite the hype, some realism is needed.
“Either way, don’t expect to have one of these in your house any time soon,” he said, “and if you do, he won’t be doing the dishes or cooking for you.” ●