Musk unveils Tesla's new robot 'Optimus'

musk unveils tesla's new robot 'optimus'

Musk, right, presents a prototype of humanoid robot, called Optimus, during an artificial-intelligence event in Palo Alto, California on Friday. (Photo: Tesla Inc via AFP)

Elon Musk has showed off a new humanoid robot, part of the Tesla Inc. chief executive's effort to present the company as more than an electric-vehicle maker.

Musk presented the robot at an artificial-intelligence event in Palo Alto, California.

The early prototype took a few steps, waved to the crowd, and performed some basic dance moves.

“Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” Musk said, with the goal of being able to make them at high volume and low cost.

“It is expected to cost much less than a car,” he said, with a price point below $20,000.

Customers should be able to receive the robot, once ordered, in three to five years, Musk said. It isn’t yet for sale.

The battery-powered robot should be able to handle difficult chores, Tesla said, including lifting a half-ton, nine-foot concert grand piano.

Mr. Musk added that it would have conversational capabilities and feature safeguards to prevent wrongdoing by the machine.

The Tesla boss has also suggested the robot could serve broader functions and potentially alleviate labour shortages.