A new viral video released by Elon Musk appears to show Tesla’s humanoid Optimus robot smoothly folding a black t-shirt on its own. However, the slick demo faced immediate skepticism from internet users who questioned just how autonomous the robot currently is.
In response to the doubts, Musk clarified a key point – Optimus cannot yet fold shirts fully independently as the video implies. For now, the robot requires a fixed table and box setup with the shirt specifically positioned to perform the pre-programmed motions.
As Musk stated: “Optimus cannot yet do this autonomously, but certainly will be able to do this fully autonomously and in an arbitrary environment.”
So while the demo clearly shows Optimus’ potential, we’re still a ways off from shirts being folded entirely on their own in uncontrolled environments. The robot would need to be able to identify and pick up a random shirt first before manipulating it.
Still, the quick video is a promotional win for Tesla, vividly demonstrating capabilities that Optimus may achieve down the road. Even if the robot is mostly acting out a predefined script for now, the technological leap forward is significant since the awkward original Optimus reveal.
Tesla envisions the more advanced iterations of Optimus eventually assisting with vehicle manufacturing and other labor intensive tasks, Optimus Gen 2 robot ups agility for more lifelike movement. But we seem to still be in the early hype phase, with Optimus’ true functional limitations yet to be revealed.
The shirt folding demo sparked renewed optimism and sci-fi imaginings among Tesla fans. But as with most futuristic prototypes, expectations should be tempered until there is proof these robots can operate independantly in messy real world situations.
What do you think? Does the latest Optimus video get you excited for the autonomous robotic future? Or is Tesla overly hyping prototype demos? Share your thoughts on Tesla’s humanoid robots!