Following up on “Tesla Bot Optimus & Its Impact On Our Future,” below is a further exploration of the Tesla bot (Optimus) concept, what it could be used for, and how it could be modified.
By Ganesh Sadare
Possible Future Versions — Optimus X (Exo-suit version)
The caretaker version for elderly or the hospital version will possibly be one of the first versions for fully developed Optimi (Optimuses?), as the population collapse subject is close to Elon’s heart. Japan is already trying its best to introduce this solution in the healthcare system. Someone has to take care of the increasing elderly population while the working young population is not being replaced because of the lower birth rate. It’s a double whammy for countries having birth rates below replacement level. Who will take care of the increasing aging population? At the same time, who will be a replacement for the working population & run the economy?
While fully formed Optimi could help solve both problems, it will still be a high-cost flagship premium product. A simpler & less expensive exo-suit version, on other hand — say, Optimus X — can reach a far wider customer base and bring symbiotic living with machines to a whole new level. Optimus X will take care of any physical limitations by providing guidance & calibration in movement, assistance in power, and safety with autonomous takeover for the wearer. Combine Optimus X with Neuralink and it could break a new revolution for accessibility for many physical disabilities and disorders.
For example: An elderly person will wake up, put on Optimus X, and live his or her life as their 20–30 year younger version (to some extent). They will take care of themselves and others. They will postpone confinement to walls and will travel, enjoy nature, & meet people. They will postpone retirement and work if they choose to or just live a life of independence, dignity & accessibility without relying on anyone, just with the help of Optimus X.
Optimus X could solve the problem of taking care of an aging population by providing cognitively healthy elderly means to take care of themselves, others, and much more. It will also mean physical work in the economy would have much more productivity. It wouldn’t mean everyone could have superhuman capabilities, but it would mean everyone can perform average or above average human physical capabilities at any age for a longer period of time. Maybe, for the first time in human history, we can even postpone the physical impact of aging altogether.
Tesla, as usual, will crack mass production in time, but how much Optimus could cost? Considering Optimus is Tesla hardware in bot body & that a Boston Dynamics robot dog costs $75,000 while a Tesla Model S costs north of $90,000–130,000, is it probable that anyone who can afford a flagship Tesla would be able to buy Optimus? We don’t know, but these are some base considerations to take into account.
Who Will Buy? Use Cases & Versions
Factories, godowns, SpaceX (a Starman version), nuclear sites, minefield removal teams, Boring tunnels, construction sites, hospitals, farms, fire departments (a Boston Dynamics Spot is already in the NYC fire department), ocean exploration teams — wherever it can be, it will be, from doing active work to passive security, data collection, surveillance, etc.
Apart from multiple versions, there are infinite possibilities with different fields & specific tasks in those fields that will probably make Tesla come up with its own additional accessories. It’s hard to comprehend how quickly Optimus will become a real-life action figure with limitless accessories. And I’m guessing a Signature Edition will come with Not-a-flamethrower? Okay, probably not.
The idea of Optimus as a product is head scratching for many indeed, but Elon has gone past the point of a traditional product and company approach. One simply cannot assume Elon would spend his time on a product that is meant only for incremental benefit to humanity. Elon does consider the Tesla gigafactory as a product itself, a machine that makes a machine. Optimus belongs in the same category, a product that makes a product. In this case: One product to rule them all.
Humanity & AGI
Computers were supposed to replace us, and now the same is said for AI, but ultimately it will be a symbiotic future that awaits us. AI will be doing much of our work while we will still be the ones who will be pressing the buttons. With all the progress in AI, it is inevitable that AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) will happen at some point and that, unlike AI, it will have the ability to replace or remove us if it wants to. Elon’s push for AI will shorten that timeline considerably. So, if things go south, remember, be in shape to run at least faster than 5 miles per hour.
Note: I don’t own any Tesla shares or any long position on Tesla.
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