Elon Musk shows off latest robot prototype with opposable thumbs

Elon Musk shows a prototype humanoid robot walking and shaking hands while seeking to demonstrate Tesla Inc.'s progress in artificial intelligence.

On Friday night at the electric automaker's AI Day, Musk also showed a video of robots picking up boxes and walking through a provided office building to water plants.

"There's a lot more robots can actually do than what we just showed you," Musk said. "We didn't want it to fall on his face."

Another robot also appeared on the stage, which Tesla calls Optimus. Musk said Optimus wasn't quite ready to walk, but he has opposable thumbs and can function.

"Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible," Musk said. "Optimus is designed to be an extremely capable robot built in very large quantities.

The event, held at the Tesla facility in Palo Alto, California, saw several engineers give highly technical presentations on how the robot perceives its environment.

Musk said Tesla plans to test the robot at its factory in Fremont, California, where video of its operation was filmed.

But he acknowledged that the robot is "not strictly speaking" in line with Tesla's goal of accelerating the adoption of sustainable energy. "I'm not sure where it ends,"

Musk also said that Tesla is "probably not barking up the right tree on all tech solutions," and reminded viewers that the company is "open to developing" solutions that have already arrived.

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