Elon Musk has teased the unveiling of a humanoid robot during Tesla’s annual AI Day this week.
The tech billionaire shared an image of robotic hands making a heart shape, together with the 30 September date for the artificial intelligence event.
The AI-powered humanoid robot, previously referred to by Mr Musk as the Tesla Optimus bot, is expected to be used to replace human workers on the electric car maker’s production line.
Beyond factory work, Mr Musk said future versions of Tesla’s humanoid robot could be used in a vast array of roles, ranging from domestic assistants, to caring for the elderly.
“In the future, physical work will essentially be a choice. If you want to do it you can, but you won’t need to do it,” Mr Musk said during the Tesla AI Day last August.
“It has profound implications for the economy, given that the economy at its foundational level is labour.”
Mr Musk has even said that he believes Tesla’s robot business will one day be bigger than its electric car business.
Despite the hype, some analysts are unconvinced that there is much of a market for an AI-powered humanoid robot.
“Investors are not excited about Optimus,” Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures, which holds Tesla stocks, said earlier this month.
“It’s just such a low probability that it works at scale,” he said, adding that it was “infinitely harder than self-driving cars”.