Tesla's latest Optimus robot can handle an egg without breaking it

The machine has come a long way from its previous iterations.


Tesla has offered a look at the latest version of its Optimus robot. In a new video, the second-gen humanoid machine appears to have greater dexterity than its predecessor, though you’ll likely have to wait quite a while longer before you can pick up one of these to help around the house. Milan Kovac, who works on the Optimus project, noted on X that the footage is in real-time and that there was no CGI involved.

While the previous version of Optimus struggled to walk during a live demo, the latest model is able to move with more grace, perhaps thanks to its Tesla-designed actuators and sensors. The machine has an actuated neck with two degrees of freedom and it's said to be 30 percent faster at walking while mimicking the geometry of human feet.

The second-gen Optimus has a sleeker design and Tesla says it has been able to reduce the weight of the robot by 10 kilograms without sacrificing any functionality. The company claims this model has improved balance and full-body control — it's shown squatting and getting back up in the video.

Among the biggest upgrades are to the hands. Tesla says these now have 11 degrees of freedom and they can move more quickly. Optimus is able to handle objects more delicately, as shown by a demo of it picking up and gently placing down an egg. These all seem like marked improvements over the last iteration of Optimus, which we first saw in September last year.

While the robot looks mechanically more impressive than its predecessor, that's only one piece of the puzzle, as Electrek points out. If the robot is to be used in the real world as a "general purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring" (as Tesla is aiming for), it will need to have a robust artificial intelligence that allows it to operate safely and independently.

That's likely many years away from becoming a reality, particularly when Tesla has had problems with the AI features of its cars. In fact, the company just recalled nearly every car it has shipped in the US to fix issues with the Autopilot system.