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What just happened? Elon Musk has shared new footage of Tesla’s robot, Optimus Gen 2, taking a walk around a warehouse. The humanoid machine appears to be moving much more smoothly and is steadier on its feet than in previous clips, suggesting the engineers are continuing to make improvements ahead of a possible 2025 launch.

Tesla announced the latest version of Optimus, Gen 2, last December (below). The robot has come a long way since the original Bumblebee model from September 2022; this updated version is packed with Tesla-designed actuators and sensors, is 22 pounds lighter, and boasts a 30% boost to its walking speed.

While December’s clip is undoubtedly impressive, Optimus Gen 2 still appeared to be walking very stiffly, like someone desperately looking for a place to relieve themselves.

Another video from the official Optimus account in January showed the robot going for another gentle and rather unsteady stroll.

Going for a walk with Optimus pic.twitter.com/6mLJCUp30F

– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 31, 2024

However, the latest video of Optimus Gen 2 shows that it now moves noticeably faster and is a bit steadier on its feet. You’d still feel concerned if you saw a person walking this way, but the progress is certainly there.

Getting my daily steps in pic.twitter.com/cEE4RBNdfo

– Tesla Optimus (@Tesla_Optimus) February 24, 2024

Milan Kovac, Tesla’s Head of Optimus Engineering, explained some of the advances made since the December video. The Gen 2 robot now possesses its fastest gait ever, around 0.6 m/s, which is another 20% speed increase. The vestibular system, foot trajectory, and ground contact logic have all been improved, along with other improvements. The team even added a slight sway to the torso and arms for a more natural appearance.

It was back in August 2021 when Tesla announced that it was creating a general-purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot “capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring for humans to carry out.”

In January 2022, Musk said Tesla’s robot was the most important in-development product, potentially bigger than its vehicle business. The EV giant revealed the first prototype during the 2022 Tesla AI Day.

Musk said in December that he expects Optimus to be able to thread a needle within the next year. Musk said there’s a good chance Tesla could start shipping units in 2025, possibly for less than $20,000, but then he’s often wildly optimistic with his products’ timeline/price predictions.

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The post Elon Musk unveils new footage of Tesla’s Optimus robot showing improved mobility and speed first appeared on www.techspot.com

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