Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Thursday said the electric automaker will probably launch a "Tesla Bot" humanoid robot prototype next year, designed for dangerous, repetitive, or boring work that people don't like to do.
Speaking at Tesla's AI Day event, the billionaire entrepreneur said the robot, which stands around five foot eight inches tall, would be able to handle jobs from attaching bolts to cars with a wrench, or picking up groceries at stores.
The robot would have "profound implications for the economy," Musk said, addressing a labour shortage. He said it was important to make the machine not "super-expensive."
The AI Day event came amid growing scrutiny over the safety and capability of Tesla's "Full Self-Driving" advanced driver assistant system.
Musk didn't comment on that scrutiny over the safety of Tesla technology but said that he was confident of achieving full self-driving with higher safety than humans using current in-car cameras and computers.
U.S. safety regulators earlier this week opened an investigation into Tesla's driver assistant system because of accidents where Tesla cars crashed into stationary police cars and fire trucks.
Two U.S. senators have also called on the Fair Trade Commission to investigate Tesla's claims for its "Full Self-Driving" system.
At the event on Thursday Tesla also unveiled chips it designed in-house for its high-speed computer, Dojo, to help develop its automated driving system. Musk said Dojo would be operational next year.
He said Tesla will also introduce new hardware for its self-driving computer for its Cybertruck electric pick-up truck in "about a year or so."
Tesla in July pushed back the launch of its much-anticipated Cybertruck from this year, without giving a timeframe for its arrival on the market.
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