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Fans ‘no longer scared of the Terminator’ after Elon Musk shares footage of new Optimus robot

Fans ‘no longer scared of the Terminator’ after Elon Musk shares footage of new Optimus robot

After all, what could be safer than folding laundry?

If you're building a humanoid robot you have to be careful, as people might be reminded of the Terminator and start to feel threatened.

One great way to make it seem less intense? Get it to do some of your more mundane chores.

At least, that seems to be one lesson we can take from Elon Musk this week, after he shared a new clip of Tesla's next generation Optimus robot at work.

The video shows Optimus standing behind a clean table, taking a T-shirt out of a basket next to it, and then steadily folding the bit of clothing into a not-that-neat bundle.

It's a pretty impressive watch, demonstrating what we might be able to use this kind of robot for - and how delicately it can use its hands.

That said, Musk himself immediately supplied a major caveat - this isn't an autonomous demo, where the robot is operating without any human input.

Rather, you can see occasional glimpses at the right of the video, betraying the fact that someone is wearing control gloves and has hard-wired control of the robot, going through the motions.

So this is very much a test of Optimus' potential for careful and precise movements and manipulation, rather than a demonstration of what it can do on its own right now.

Still, it's led to a slew of reactions from people on X, including plenty who say this makes them way less afraid of the robot's potential - folding laundry is about as harmless as things come, after all.

@elonmusk/ X

Some, like the massive tech YouTuber MKBHD, have even questioned whether the video might have been touched up with CGI.

Musk, with his typical bullishness, hasn't hesitated to asset that down the line Optimus "certainly will be able to do this fully autonomously and in an arbitrary environment (won’t require a fixed table with box that has only one shirt)".

For now, though, we're still relatively in the dark about where the robot's current capabilities stand, and how ambitious Musk is around its implementation.

Back when Tesla first unveiled Optimus, it said that it was aimed at completing 'unsafe, repetitive or boring tasks' - and folding laundry certainly falls under the last two categories.

Featured Image Credit: @elonmusk/ X