Elon Musk says Tesla Optimus robot should cost ‘less than half of a car’


Elon Musk says that Optimus, Tesla’s general-purpose humanoid robot, should cost “less than half the price of a car”.

A few months ago, Tesla unveiled “Optimus Gen 2”, a new generation of its humanoid robot that should be able to take over repetitive tasks from humans.

The new prototype showed a lot of improvements compared to previously underwhelming versions of the robot, and it gave some credibility to the project, which was laughed off by many when first announced with a dancer disguised as a robot for visual aid a few years ago.

Tesla believed it to be possible by leveraging its AI work on its self-driving vehicle program and expertise in batteries and electric motors. It argued that its vehicles are already robots on wheels. Now, it just needs to make them in humanoid forms to be able to replace humans in some tasks – primarily repetitive and dangerous tasks.

In a previous update on Optimus, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that the “Optimus stuff is extremely underrated.” The CEO said that the demand could be as high as 10 to 20 billion units.

He went as far as “confidently predicting” that Optimus will account for “a majority of Tesla’s long-term value.”

The CEO sees everyone having a Tesla Optimus robot at home on top of them taking over a lot of manufacturing and service jobs.

For that to work, they will have to be somewhat reasonably priced. Musk had previously said that he thinks it’s possible to bring the price below that of its vehicles, which start at around $40,000.

Now, Musk says that he believes Tesla can bring the price of its Optimus humanoid robot down to “less than half of a car”:

Tesla’s average car sale price globally last year was just over $45,000, and the average new car sale price in the US is about $47,000.

This means that Musk sees the cost of a humanoid robot as being between $20,000 and $25,000.

There’s no clear timeline for Tesla to bring the robot to production, but Musk said in 2022 that it could go into production as soon as 2023 – though that didn’t happen.

Tesla has been listing more jobs for its robot program lately, including jobs related to supply chains and manufacturing.

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