Speaker 1: Tesla is building humanoid robots powered by self-driving ai. Google wants to give its AI brain a robot body, and Amazon wants robots in your home to deliver you cold drinks. The world of robotics is moving fast in our homes, in our shopping malls, and even in our police forces, wherever they are, the robots of the future are going to be increasingly powered by machine learning and the kind of intelligence that makes them feel even [00:00:30] more human. Here are all the robots that you need to keep an eye on as we go hurdling towards this future, and some of them you really want to keep an eye on.
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Speaker 1: Wasn't that long ago that robots were essentially pre-programmed assistance designed to serve you food or vacuum your house. But now the world of robotics is being fused with artificial intelligence, and the result is futuristic technology that blurs the line between humans and machines. Maybe the most attention grabbing [00:01:00] example of this is optimist from Tesla. We've been waiting to see this robot since it was first teased back in 2021, and during Tesla's AI day in 2022, we saw it in the flesh. Can I say that? Elon Musk actually revealed two versions of the so-called Tesla bot, a prototype built with off-the-shelf parts that actually walked itself out onto stage, and a next generation model that Musk wants to take into production. That second optimist was still in the [00:01:30] early stages. It had to be wheeled out by Tesla engineers, but eventually, Musk wants this robot to be a household helper, the kind of thing you might buy as a gift for your parents.
Speaker 3: Optimist is designed to get an extremely capable robot, but made in, in very high volume, probably ultimately millions of units. Um, and it it, it is expected to cost much less than a car.
Speaker 2: Speaking
Speaker 1: Of cars, Optimus is actually built on the same self-driving AI that [00:02:00] Tesla uses in its vehicles, but it's been retrained for a world off the road. So instead of detecting nearby cars or pedestrians, the robot is trained to detect objects and humans and navigate around the real world. Tesla isn't alone in trying to get its robots to interact more with the meat space. Google is making a big push in intelligent robotics with helper robots that use natural language processing and object detection to understand human requests [00:02:30] and perform simple tasks on command. The technology is called Palm Sayan, and it's built into robots from a company called Everyday Robots. Instead of being programmed with commands, like if this then that the robot brain uses machine learning to understand vague instructions like I'm hungry, and then it works out the steps required to solve that problem. When you think of companies like Google and Tesla, you might not normally think of helper droids, but companies like these ones [00:03:00] are increasingly taking their AI out of the computer or the car and putting it into a robot body with the idea of getting those robots out into the real world.
Speaker 1: Another company to watch in 2023 is Boston Dynamics. You might know this one from videos of Spot the Robot dog exploring caves or dancing to music from bts. You might have even seen the viral video of Atlas the robot doing robot parkour. [00:03:30] But Boston Dynamics is also one of the biggest players in industrial robotics. In 2020, car manufacturer Hyundai bought an 80% stake in the company, and now it's touting robots as a way to bridge the worlds between physical and the metaverse, even putting robots on Mars. But these kinds of industrial robots aren't just designed for remote places. They're also being eyed off by law enforcement. The LAP D is considering using Spot [00:04:00] the Robot to boost its police force and US border officials have begun deploying similar robots from a US company called Ghost Robotics at the US Mexico border. And that raises big ethical questions.
Speaker 1: In October, 2022, Boston Dynamics and a number of other companies pinned an open letter saying General purpose robots should not be weaponized, but a general purpose robot is very different to one specifically designed [00:04:30] for dangerous situations. Lawmakers in cities like San Francisco are already authorizing robots to use lethal force. In situations where lives are at stake, it's clear we're only just scratching the surface of the big ethical debates around robots. How much are we willing to let them into our everyday lives? Robots are already building our cars, patrolling our cities, and doing surgery. These are all things that a generation ago might have felt like [00:05:00] science fiction. Okay, that's the big picture. But let's take a bit of a hard ride and talk about robots in our homes. Well, you might not buy a $20,000 Tesla bot anytime soon, but if Amazon has its way, you could have a much smaller robot following you around.
Speaker 1: The Amazon Astro launched in 2021, and if you have a thousand bucks to spare and you get an invite from Amazon, Astro can be yours. Think of this cute little gadget as Alexa on [00:05:30] wheels. With the kind of room mapping you get from a robot vacuum, it's not a full in-home helper. It won't fix your broken toilet anytime soon, but it does work as a security robot keeping an eye on things when you're gone. And yes, it can even bring you a beer if someone puts it in the cup holder first in another room. There are a lot of companies trying to get in on this futuristic world of home helper robots. We've seen something similar from Samsung, which revealed the bot handy Robot [00:06:00] butler back at CES in 2021. But still, these robots are a long way from becoming the norm in homes all around the world.
Speaker 1: But if you do wanna see a robot in action, you could actually find one at your local mall building you a burger like my colleague Bridget Carey saw. Or you might find one making a pizza for you in a restaurant, or maybe you'll find one at your nail salon getting ready to paint your nails. Well, even the performers at Disneyland are being replaced by robots. Gone to the days [00:06:30] of some young sweating it out in a theme park in a Spider-Man suit. Disneyland's latest Fighty show is actually powered by a robot. And then there are the robots that we might only ever see online in weird viral videos, but are invading our minds all the same. Like this self-healing slime robot developed by researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, or who could forget Poid, a robot designed by Japanese robotics company, t m s UK [00:07:00] to help teach doctors how to do medical procedures on rigging children. Yeah, and that one won't haunt your nightmares. Speaking of nightmares, remember this robot that went viral online? Well, it's name is Aika, and it was built by UK Company Engineered Arts. And I actually got to interview it, which was, well, a sentence I didn't think I'd say, but also I have to say it was kind of like Bob sledding down the uncanny valley. This robot could respond to my questions with totally normal [00:07:30] sentences. Thank
Speaker 4: You for the interview.
Speaker 1: And with that face of its, I swear it looked right into my soul. So when I say these are robots to watch, I mean, we should really watch them because with developments in AI and really natural looking facial expressions, these robots could become far more life-like than we are used to. Hey, maybe I'm a robot. You never know. Be boo like and subscribe for more videos from me. Claire Riley, your Robot Guide [00:08:00] to the Future. This is my robot voice, very believable.