Tesla’s robot: Great marketing; little reality

In mid-August 2021 Elon Musk announced that his organisation would be building a human like robot called Tesla-Bot to do manual work.

collage teslabot

The announcement was accompanied by a dancer in a spandex suit that supposedly represented what a robot would be like. Many people were not convinced.

The Verge is a respected multimedia platform founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future.

It offered the opinion that “Even by Musk’s standards, it was a bizarre and brilliant bit of tomfoolery: a multipurpose sideshow that trolled Tesla skeptics, fed the fans, ginned up the share price, and created some eye-catching headlines”.


Tesla and other Musk business activities, rely on headline grabbing announcements and stunts rather than traditional marketing.

At the moment they need some good news with increasing investigations of Tesla crashes, delays in launching the Cybertruck and aggressive moves from competitors such as Rivian.

Telsa said the Bot is the development of the next generation of automation, including a general purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring. We’re seeking mechanical, electrical, controls and software engineers to help us leverage our AI expertise beyond our vehicle fleet.

Musk said that building a human-replacement robot — something no company in the world is close to achieving — was a logical step forward from Tesla’s work developing self-driving cars. “Our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels,” he said. “It kind of makes sense to put that on to a humanoid form. We’re also quite good at sensors and batteries and actuators so we think we’ll probably have a prototype some time next year that basically looks like this.”

Musk has defined the dimensions of the Bot and being 1.7 metres tall and weighing 57 Kgs. It is anticipated to carry 20kgs and travel at 8 km/hr.

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About David Brown 581 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto