Elon Musk says that he is considering Tesla Bot becoming more than just a humanoid robot to perform useful tasks but to have it potentially develop a unique personality and be a companion.
He says Tesla Bot could make an “incredible buddy like C3PO or R2D2.”
Earlier this year, Musk announced plans for Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot equipped with artificial intelligence aimed at completing general repetitive tasks.
At first, it sounded like another one of Musk’s jokes, but as we previously reported, it is a real project, and Tesla already started hiring for it.
Musk said that Tesla would build the robot to do useful work, and he even suggested that it could help solve the labor shortage.
On the Lex Fridman podcast, Musk was asked if he considered a potential companionship role for the Tesla Bot either as an assistant or even a friend.
I think the possibilities are endless. It’s not quite in Tesla’s primary mission directive of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy, but it’s an extremely useful thing for the world to make a humanoid robot that is capable of interacting with the world and helping in many different ways.
The CEO reiterated that Tesla will focus on making the robot do “repetitive and boring work,” especially tasks that can lead to repetitive stress injury, but he did say that it could make “a very good companion”:
It could develop a personality over time that is unique. It’s not like all the robots are the same. That personality could evolve to match the owner, or whatever you want to call it.
Fridman, a scientist who specializes in human-robot interaction, suggested that there’s a “huge opportunity” to reduce loneliness with such an application of the Tesla Bot.
Here’s the full interview:
During the interview, Musk didn’t want to offer a clear timeline on when Tesla could make the robot available, but he did say that he expects Tesla to have “a decent prototype toward the end of next year.”