Humanoid Robots, Tesla Bot and Beyond

Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Aug 26, 2021 7 min read
Humanoid Robots, Tesla Bot and Beyond

Humans have long been reigning the Earth as uncrowned rulers. With their sharp mind, crucial thinking ability, power of execution, and sky-high ambitions, human beings have unarguably been the wisest species living on the planet.

Time and again their existence was threatened but it is the urge to live that has chalked the way ahead for the humans. Starting from the stone age to the invention of fire, metals, followed by the grouping of humans in societies that expanded to cities and countries, humans never really shirked any opportunities of inventing new things.

Later when the humans started to be distanced from each other, they started to invent tools like the telephone, telegram, mobiles, and computers to keep them connected. Though human inventions were always speculated hugely on the necessity and the disadvantages that they would likely have, most of them went on to be successfully received by the successive generations and resulted in bettering our lives overall.

Robots and their Brief History
Elon Muskโ€™s Announcement of the All-New Tesla Bot
Some of the Popular Humanoid Robots
FAQ

Robots and their Brief History

Robots are machines programmed by humans to be operated as computers that can carry out a complex series of actions without any significant aid from humans. The invention of these machines was being discussed since the emergence of the first generation of computers. However, the invention of robots was not an easy task and required severe hindrances to be overcome before they could be materialized.

The invention of robots started with that of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the first of which was developed by Christopher Strachey.

However, if you are curious about robots, then it is George Devol, who had invented the Unimate in 1954, the first commercial, digital and programmable robot.

The robot was eventually sold to General Motors in 1961, where it served as a human alternative to lift pieces of hot metal from die casting machines at the Inland Fisher Guide Plant in Ewing Townshipโ€™s West Trenton section in New Jersey.

The development of robots was not only seen as a useful addition to various industries and companies to boost their overall productivity but also as robust reinforcements to get risky and dangerous tasks done without any bother.

Elon Muskโ€™s Announcement of the All-New Tesla Bot

Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer of SpaceX and CEO and Product Architect of Tesla announced on Thursday, August 19, 2021, that the electric automobile company, Tesla is almost ready with the prototype of a humanoid, which they are set to launch by next year. This is a step towards developing the next generation of AIs that look similar to the structure of humans and can work like them.

Tesla Bot
Tesla Bot

The humanoid bot is code-named โ€œOptimus,โ€ said the billionaire entrepreneur, who would stand 5 feet 8 inches tall and would not be โ€œsuper-expensiveโ€ to afford. The robot will be based on the same chips and sensors that the Tesla autonomous cars use for operating their self-driving features.

What does Tesla Bot do?

The humanoid bot launched by Tesla can perform a wide range of chores that are considered to be dangerous, boring, or repetitive. Elon Musk further mentioned that the humanoid will be an excellent addition to the industries in order to address labor shortage issues. The all-new Tesla bot would have โ€œprofound implications for the economy,โ€ he added.

Musk also presented the slides to exhibit the design of the bot prototype where he mentioned that the bot will have autopilot cameras installed in its head. He also declared that Optimus will weigh 125 pounds and will have the ability to run at 5 mph, lift 150 pounds and carry 45 pounds of weight.

Fetching groceries or other utilities from the store will be among some of the major benefits of using the bots.

Though the Tesla bot might seem like a unique concept and the working of such robots a breakthrough since the last AI, it is not the first humanoid bot that we have known. Yes, there is a list of humanoid robots that are already in existence and happen to be working in different sectors.


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Nadine

Nadine - The Robot with professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann
Nadine - The Robot with professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann

We all have to interact with a customer service agent or two whenever we find any issues hindering our systematic lifestyle and work process or want to make a new visit or initiate any new processes. The customer service agents duly assist us in such works but you might also bump into Nadine, who would look similar to a woman but is actually not.

Nadine was developed in 2013 by Kokoro Japan and is modeled on professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann.

What does the Nadine the Robot do

Nadine is a social robot that can greet you on your first visit, talk, make eye contact, remember your previous meetings and chat in the respect of the earlier meets. The social robot can talk in 6 different languages and handle a list of queries smoothly.

Nadine is currently employed as a customer service agent in AIA Insurance Company in Singapore and is the first humanoid robot in the world working as a customer service agent.

Ocean One

Ocean One
Ocean One

Marine life has always interested us. Though scuba divers and other manual interventions have resulted in knowing the underwater ecosystem better, however, the invention of the humanoid bot, OceanOne has further bridged the gap between the land and the water. OceanOne was developed by Stanford University in collaboration with KAUST's Red Sea Research Center and MEKA Robotics.

What does the Ocean one the Robot do

OceanOne was developed to explore coral reefs and other submarine subjects and life forms. The robot mermaid can dive into the depths that human beings cannot. OceanOne first divided 100 meters below into the depths of the Mediterranean Sea and discovered the wreckage of La Lune of King Louis XIV of France, which sank off the southern coast of France in 1664.

Erica

Erica
Erica

News anchors bring us the latest news from our neighborhood and from across the world. However, they have all been humans, arenโ€™t they? If you are in Japan, then think twice because there you might also be watching Erica as the news anchor!

Hiroshi Ishiguro, the Director of Intelligent Robotics Laboratory developed Erica at Osaka University. Erica is one of the most modern robots that can understand human conversations and change her facial expressions according to the conversations. Though this robot cannot walk, she is shockingly good at speaking.

What does Erica the the Robot do?

Erica can be used as a conversation company because she is smart and can talk nicely, which is almost as expressive as humans. She is currently used as a news anchor in Japan.

Nao

Nao
Nao

We have all been to soccer matches or seen them on our television or computers. What energy the soccer players display! What unity and coordinated gameplay we get to see in one such match!

However, soccer matches are not only a game solely dedicated to humans. Nowadays, robots have started to enjoy it too. Nao, the 23-inch robot is the first of its kind to engage in a game of soccer.

Invented by Aldebaran Robotics, a French robotic company, was launched in 2008 and now has an entire event RoboCup Standard Platform League, a part of Robocup, dedicated to it.

What does Nao the Robot do

Apart from playing soccer games, Nao has also emerged as an intelligent robot that can be used in multiple industries for more than one purpose. It is one of the leading robots of the world, which is adopted in more than 70 countries in total mainly for academic and research purposes. Furthermore, Nao is also used to educate autistic children. Aldebaran Robotics was acquired by Softbank Robotics in 2015, which now produces the robot.


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Conclusion

The very thought of someone, a machine operating as we do has always fascinated us. The existence of such creatures is fun, interesting, and useful no doubt. Most of the robots that exist today are intended to be friendly. However, they are becoming more advanced with each passing day and as Elon Musk has pointed out earlier, can also turn into the โ€œbiggest risk we face as a civilization,โ€ which we should avoid at any cost.

FAQ

What was the first humanoid robot?

The first humanoid robot was Herbert Televox built by Ron Wensley in 1927.

Tesla Bot, Nao, Erica, and Nadine are some of the popular humanoid robots.

When will the Tesla bot launch?

Elon Musk has stated that Tesla will launch the Tesla Bot prototype next year.

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