Elon Musk says robot a top priority for Tesla

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The human-like robot that Tesla is developing is considered the “most important product” in 2021 that they are working on, CEO Elon Musk said during a fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, CNBC reported.

During the Wednesday call, the Tesla chief executive said that the robot, known as both the “Tesla Bot” and Optimus, had important implications for tackling possible labor shortages.

“If you think about the economy, it is — the foundation of the economy is labor,” Musk said, according to CNBC. “Capital equipment is distilled labor. So what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about, so [it’s] very important.”

Musk also emphasized that the humanoid robot also had the potential to be an even more lucrative business than the automobile industry. 

“I think it has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time,” the Tesla chief executive said, according to CNBC.

He noted that the development of new models of automobiles had suffered due to the computer chip shortage, adding that a $25,000-priced car was not in the works currently, and its Cybertruck will not be introduced in 2021.

In August, Tesla said that it was developing a humanoid robot that Musk said would “start dealing with work that is boring, repetitive and dangerous.” Next year, the company will likely have a prototype available. 

Musk noted in August that he did not intend initially to have the humanoid robot used for manufacturing purposes, CNBC noted. 

Tags chip shortage Elon Musk Elon Musk Optimus Tesla
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