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Tesla will branch out from building electric, self-driving cars to produce humanoid robots designed to “eliminate dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks” and respond to voice commands from their owners.

The robot, referred to as Optimus by those inside the company, will be 173 centimetres tall and weigh 57 kilograms. Its body will be powered by 40 electromechanical actuators and its face will feature a screen display.

Optimus will be able to carry a cargo of up to 20 kilograms, and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk claims that a working prototype will be ready next year.

Speaking at the company’s AI Day event, designed to attract engineering and research talent to the company, Musk said that much of the technology in Tesla’s self-driving cars is applicable to or useful in creating humanoid robots.

“Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotics company because our cars are like semi-sentient robots on wheels,” he said. “It kind of makes sense to put that onto a humanoid form. We’re also quite good at sensors and batteries and actuators.”

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