People were shown a video of Optimus performing simple tasks, such as watering plants, carrying boxes and lifting metal bars.

Mr Musk said the robots would be produced in mass, at a cost lower than $20,000 (£17,900), and be available in three to five years.

The Tesla boss spoke of "a future of abundance" ahead.

"It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it," he continued.
Investors and financial analysts have expressed skepticism that Tesla will turn to robotics, advising it to focus, instead, on projects closer to Tesla's core business of electric cars.

But Mr. Musk said he wanted to solve one of the toughest problems of artificial intelligence: how to make a machine that can replace a human being.

The entrepreneur, who once warned of artificial intelligence being a threat to humanity, said that Tesla wanted to make sure the transition to a society in which robots did the work and people reaped the benefits was a safe one.

"We always want to be careful we don't go down the Terminator path," he cautioned, referring to a blockbuster film about a killer cyborg.

He added that Tesla was building in safeguards, including a stop button that could not be tampered with.

Mr Musk contended that shareholders would determine if the publicly traded company was socially responsible.

Tesla's AI Day is aimed at recruiting and showcasing latest products.


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