Is this a joke? Elon Musk confuses the world with dancing humanoid robot at Tesla event

For many years, discussion about the role of AI in the workplace has been met with the misconception that ‘the robots are taking our jobs’.

But now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking to turn that misconception into more of a reality, with the planned launch of a Tesla Bot.

The Tesla Bot will be built to look like a human (1.72 metres tall and weighing 57 kilograms) and will be tasked with completing the dangerous, repetitive and outright borings jobs that humans don’t want to do.

If the thought of one of the biggest tech companies in the world building human-sized robots kind of freaks you out, fear not. Musk promises his robots will be kind.

The bot is “intended to be friendly and navigate through a world built for humans,” he added, while announcing the plans for Tesla Bot at the company’s AI Day.

He also claimed the bot will be able to respond to simple requests, such as “please go to a store and get me the following groceries”.

And while it all sounds very futuristic, Musk explained the strategic logic behind the decision.

“Basically, if you think about what we’re doing right now with cars, Tesla is arguably the world’s biggest robotics company because our cars are like semi-sentient robots on wheels,” Musk said.

“With the full self-driving computer, [ … ] which will keep evolving, and Dojo and all the neural nets recognising the world, understanding how to navigate through the world, it kind of makes sense to put that on to a humanoid form.”

Musk said he expects the Tesla Bot to be in prototype by next year.

However, it was the way that he decided to announce the new project that has everybody talking (and questioning the genuineness of it) – a dancing robot (which was actually a human in costume) coming on stage at the Tesla event.

As you can see, the dancer initially appeared as though he/she could be an actual robot, before gradually introducing dance moves that only a human could be capable of.

“The robot will be real,” Musk said. “We’ll probably have a prototype sometime next year that basically looks like this.”

However, Tesla does seem to be legit on this one, posting a job ad that features a reference to the project.

Although, the suggestion that a prototype of such advanced technology could be ready as early as next year might be exaggerated.

Of course, Musk is no stranger to pulling bizarre stunts at Tesla events. Who could forget his infamous unveiling of the ‘Cybertruck’?