First step towards robo catgirls? One week until Elon Musk’s Tesla Bot is unleashed


Elon Musk is set to unveil a prototype of Tesla’s humanoid robot, that the tech mogul and engineer has suggested could eventually be used as a companion robot, on September 30, 2022.

The robot, known as the Optimus or Tesla Bot, will be unveiled at Tesla’s AI Day event. Musk, the electric car company’s CEO, has said that the robots could begin production in 2023.

Early incarnations of the robot may be highly sophisticated, but Musk has said that they will be designed to take over “dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks” from humans rather than, say, bring them to orgasm.

However, Musk’s jokey comments about catgirls – fictional humanoid creatures with cat ears, tails and whiskers – plus the Tesla Bot’s companionship potential suggest that the launch may one day lead to Tesla Bots with more potential for intimacy.

tesla bot
A Tesla image of the company’s humanoid Tesla Bot

Last April, when asked on the Lex Fridman podcast if robots could become romantic or sex partners (which they already kind of have, for many sex robot owners…), he said: “It’s probably inevitable… I mean, I did promise the internet that I’d make catgirls.”

He added: “We could make a robot catgirl.”

While Musk was talking about catgirls in a jovial off-the-cuff way, he also discussed how humanoid robots such as his Tesla Bot could become more interactive.

“I think the possibilities are endless. It’s not quite in Tesla’s primary mission directive of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy, but it’s an extremely useful thing for the world to make a humanoid robot that is capable of interacting with the world and helping in many different ways,” he said.

“It could develop a personality over time that is unique. It’s not like all the robots are the same. That personality could evolve to match the owner, or whatever you want to call it.”

We’ll know more about the Tesla Bot’s future companionship potential after the big September 30 unveil. For now we know that it is expected to be around 1.73 meters tall, weighs 125 lbs and has a carry capacity of 45 lbs. And looks a bit like it’s about to take part in a futuristic fencing tournament.

While there is scepticism in tech circles about how mainstream humanoid robots could become in society and workplaces, job adverts Tesla has recently been posting suggest that take-up ambitions are big.

“The code you will write will at term run in millions of humanoid robots across the world, and will therefore be held to high quality standards,” one job advert for a role working on the robots stated.

Read next: Sex robots 101: Everything you need to know about sexbots

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Jamie F

Jamie F

Jamie is a freelance writer, contributing to outlets such as The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, CNN and Vice.

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