Tesla is building a humanoid robot based on self-driving technology

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Tesla boss Elon Musk says his electric vehicle company is building a humanoid robot.

The South African tech entrepreneur revealed the news at Tesla’s ‘AI Day’, which was largely a presentation about the firm’s self-driving vehicle technology.

However, near the end of the show, a person wearing a white outfit and a black helmet walked robotically onto the stage before starting to dance. They were ushered off before Musk explained that the Tesla Bot would look very similar to this.

The idea behind the robot is to take over the mundane tasks humans don’t want to do, for example it could be sent grocery shopping.

And Musk wanted to allay fears of his robots taking over the world, explaining that it’s 5’ 8” and about nine stone with a walking speed of about 5mph.

He said: “It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate a world built for humans. We’re setting it such that at a mechanical and physical level, you can run away from it and most likely overpower it.”

The robot is being built because Tesla believes its self-driving technology is getting so advanced it “makes sense to put onto a humanoid form”. A prototype is expected sometime next year.

Technology summit in Dublin
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. (PA)

Elsewhere during Tesla’s AI Day, the firm revealed its computer chip, which is designed and built entirely in-house. It’s what powers Dojo, a neural network training computer that will ‘train’ the firm’s artificial intelligence software, which will be pushed to Tesla vehicles by over-the-air updates.

Tesla’s so-called Full Self Driving and Autopilot programs have been causing controversy in recent weeks. Commentators are concerned that its self-driving technology is far from fully autonomous and should not be tested on public roads yet, while America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 11 incidents where Tesla vehicles using Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control crashed into, or in the vicinity of, emergency vehicles that had their blue lights flashing.

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