The world seems to be becoming ever more determined to deliver a robot that will compete with humans in everyday tasks.
On October 1, Elon Musk, renowned for his groundbreaking electric vehicles and other innovative technologies, introduced Tesla’s humanoid robot Optimus. The purpose of this two-legged robot is to assist with household chores, senior care, and heavy lifting. During the presentation, Mr. Musk said that the company will be able to produce it en masse in around three to five years. He said, “ It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.”
However, he is not alone in his aspirations to create a new generation of robots. Back in 2021, Amnon Shashua, famed for his high-tech ventures (including Mobileye, Orcam, and bank One Zero), launched a new robotics start-up, Mentee Robotics. Based in Herzliya, it is working on a multi-purpose and human-like servant robot that will be able to assist with regular domestic chores and more.
Shashua stated in an interview with “Yediot Ahronoth” that he formed the company to “build a robot that walks on two legs that in five years would be able to do 90% of the housework.” According to Shashua, the new robot may be taught chores such as emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the laundry, and clearing the table using natural language and demonstration. The start-up has raised $15 million to date.
It appears that both firms believe it is possible to create a home robot using technology and information developed for the autonomous vehicle market, in which both men have achieved success with their separate companies. This is due to the similarities between the key technological challenges: artificial intelligence, space navigation, and sensors.
However, Elon Musk and Amnon Shashua are not the only individuals interested in constructing a successful humanoid robot. The Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi unveiled CyberOne, a humanoid robot with hands, a body, and a head, in August.
In Israel, Unlimited Robotics, which received $8 million this year, is likewise attempting to advance robotics. The company is designing a multifunctional humanoid robot, with an emphasis on creating a software development platform.
All of these businesses are engaged in cutthroat competition for the same limited market share in an industry beset with scepticism. There has never been anyone who has been successful in this field previously, and there are issues being addressed regarding the practicality of robots of this type. However, Israelis are known for defying the odds and for having a mentality of never giving up; therefore, no negative attitude will discourage these inventors from attaining their goals. And who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll run into one of the humanoid robots in a shopping mall or a train station while going about our business.