Tesla Optimus Robot Learned To Fold T-shirts, But Not Yet Autonomously

Elon Musk posted a video on X of the humanoid robot Tesla Optimus folding a T-shirt. However, after some time he clarified that the robot operates under the control of a human operator.

In the video, Tesla’s Optimus robot pulls a T-shirt out of a basket and folds it neatly. But everything is not as impressive as it seems at first glance. 23 minutes after the video was published, Musk explained that Optimus does not fold this shirt himself – it is controlled by a person through telepresence. This was indicated by the control glove in the frame.

Apparently, the whole idea of ​​the creators of the video was to demonstrate the ability of Tesla Optimus to pick up a product made of thin fabric and handle it carefully, performing small manipulations that are completely familiar to a person, but quite complex for a robot. In the thirty-second video, the humanoid robot takes a single T-shirt from a basket on the table, then places it on the table, slightly leveling it, and folds it to the size of a small rectangle. It is noticeable that the presence of folds on this piece of clothing does not particularly bother the performer, but it is still pointless to find fault with the quality of such work.

As it becomes known from the explanations of Elon Musk himself, in this particular case the robot did not act independently, but simply reproduced the previously demonstrated sequence of actions for the operator. That is, if the basket was moved further away, and the tabletop was higher or lower, he would not be able to orient himself and do the job properly.

In 2024, humanoid robots could begin working in warehouses and factory floors for the first time, performing real, useful tasks that previously fell to humans. Many companies are striving for this. However, to achieve this goal, it is necessary to teach robots to learn.

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