PALO ALTO, CA – On September 30th, Elon Musk debuted the prototype of Tesla’s humanoid robot, currently dubbed as Optimus by Tesla, which the SpaceX CEO claims could be ready for market in the next three to five years at at price point of around $20,000.

However, the reception of the featured robot prototype that took the stage at the company event was a bit lukewarm, with critics noting that Optimus’ demonstrated capabilities is years behind other companies in the robotics industry.

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The reveal of Optimus was held at Tesla’s 2022 AI Day event in Palo Alto, which the company frames its annual AI Day as an engineer-recruiting event. In the last AI Day event held in August of 2021, Musk admitted that Tesla was working on a humanoid robot but didn’t have a prototype to show at the time.

However, the wait was over come September 30th, with Optimus taking the stage and performing a few movements such as walking, waving to the crowd, and evening doing a “raise the roof” dance motion. But the overall movement of the robot was fairly slow, and when walking, the robot appeared as though it could tip over at any moment.

While there were a couple of cheers and claps emanating from the crowd observing the robot’s movements, it was hardly an uproarious applause, with Musk mentioning during the demonstration, “This is literally the first time the robot has operated without a tether was on stage tonight.”

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Musk admits that the development of these humanoid robots isn’t exactly in line with Tesla’s endeavor to help transition to more sustainable energy, but believes these robots “can help millions of people,” emphasizing that if all works in this effort, people worldwide can have “a future of abundance, a future where there is no poverty, where people you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services.”

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Not to mention, in typical Musk fashion, he added that continued work on Optimus is part of a broader effort to “making the future awesome.”

But the lackluster responses in some circles regarding the Optimus demonstration lie heavily with the fact that what was observed was humanoid robot functions that were already achieved decades ago.

For instance, by 2011, Honda’s humanoid robot ASIMO was already climbing up and down stairs, performing fluid dance move motions, and able to stand idly on one leg.

Moving on to 2017, Hyundai-owned Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot Atlas was able to demonstrate a series of crate jumps and perform midair 180-degree turns. On top of the aforementioned, Atlas was also able to crank out backflips – and this is from five years ago.

Yet, Musk claims that Optimus “can actually do a lot more than we just showed you,” but claimed he didn’t want to show off those features for fear the robot would “fall on its face.”

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