Elon Musk just teased Telsa’s new Optimus Gen-2 robot with a video featuring a funky treat at the end

Sliver humanoid robot stands in a glass frame with a Tesla logo.
In the firm's promotional video, Optimus Gen 2 demonstrates fine control over its hands and fingers using six actuators — devices that convert energy and signals into motion. (Image credit: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A new video shows Tesla's eerie new humanoid robot walking like an old man, doing squats and handling delicate objects like eggs. 

The Optimus Gen 2 machine is an upgrade on the first version of Optimus, which was revealed in March. In the firm's promotional video, Optimus Gen 2 demonstrates fine control over its hands and fingers using six actuators — devices that convert energy and signals into motion. 

Its fingers also possess tactile sensing, which means it can understand how much pressure it needs to apply in certain contexts — when holding eggs, for example. It can also manipulate objects delicately, according to Tesla's video.

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The machine's neck is also designed with two degrees of freedom (2-DoF), which is a basic level of motion in robotics that's suited to many everyday tasks.

Its fingers also possess tactile sensing, which means it can understand how much pressure it needs to apply in certain contexts — when holding eggs, for example. It can also manipulate objects delicately, according to Tesla's video.

A previous update showed an earlier version of Optimus Gen 2 and the technology built into it, including motor torque control and environment scanning. The artificial intelligence (AI) technology that drives the robot was also revealed to have trained on footage and motion-capture data from a human demonstrating specific actions, such as gripping different objects from a tray. 

Tesla's released its first robot, Bumble-C in September 2022.  The robot doesn't have the advanced capabilities of some competitor robots, such as Atlas from Boston Dynamics. The purpose of Tesla's machines, however, is similar to those of Boston Dynamics, which aims to create robots that reduce the danger and physical demands of work. 

The field is advancing at some pace. Researchers in November created a robotic hand that was exceptionally human-like thanks to a new 3D-printing technique. On the other end of the scale to the likes of Atlas or Optimus, scientists also recently created the first shape-shifting robot, which can manipulate its form as it navigates its terrain.   

Within five years, Tesla envisions using follow-up versions of their humanoid bots to work alongside humans in real-world industrial environments, like factories, according to Elon Musk, speaking at Bumble-C's launch in 2022.

Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Channel Editor, Technology

Keumars is the technology editor at Live Science. He has written for a variety of publications including ITPro, The Week Digital, ComputerActive, The Independent, The Observer, Metro and TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, having previously held the role of features editor with ITPro. He is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a degree in biomedical sciences from Queen Mary, University of London. He's also registered as a foundational chartered manager with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), having qualified as a Level 3 Team leader with distinction in 2023.