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Elon Musk shows off humanoid robot prototype at Tesla AI Day

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Tesla demonstrates an early prototype of the Optimus humanoid robot at its AI Day 2022 on Sept. 30

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk and other leaders from the automaker’s AI and hardware teams spoke at the company’s 2022 AI Day, an engineer-recruiting event in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday night.

During the last AI Day in August 2021, Musk said Tesla was building a humanoid robot, known as the Tesla Bot or Optimus. The company didn’t have so much as a prototype to show at that time, and instead presented an dancer, dressed in a Tesla Bot spandex unitard on stage.

This year, Musk and Tesla employees who joined him on stage showed off a bipedal humanoid robot, which they said was only a “rough development robot,” walking and waving its hands in the air. They said the robot was walking around for the first time without any mechanical supports on stage in Palo Alto.

To warm up the audience, which included Tesla-focused social media influencers, Musk said, We’re going to talk about the advancements in AI for Full Self-Driving, as well as how they apply more generally to real world AI problems like a humanoid robot and even going beyond that. I think there’s some potential that what we’re doing here at Tesla could make a meaningful contribution to AGI [artificial general intelligence].”

He continued, “And I think actually Tesla’s a good entity to do it, from a governance standpoint, because we’re a publicly-traded company with one class of stock. That means that the public controls Tesla, and I think that’s actually a good thing. So if I go crazy, you can fire me — this is important. Maybe I’m not crazy.”

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Elon Musk previously co-founded (and later quit) an artificial intelligence venture called OpenAI. In 2015, OpenAI boasted that it had trained neural networks to enable a robot-hand resembling a human hand to solve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle.

Back when Musk originally floated the Tesla Bot concept at AI Day 2021, he said, “It should be able to, ‘please go to the store and get me the following groceries,’ that kind of thing.” Later, Musk said robots made by Tesla could one day be worth more than its cars, and that thousands of them would be put to work in Tesla factories, where humans build cars and batteries.

During Friday’s presentation, Tesla employees showed off how the humanoid robot they are developing might function in the future, including with Tesla-designed actuators, which are like the muscle of the robot, and adaptive robotic hands that will allow the robot to grasp and manipulate a wide range of objects.

Milan Kovac, who is Director of Engineering for Autopilot at Tesla according to his LinkedIn profile, said that the company’s experiences developing driver assistance systems for Tesla vehicles, in particular computer vision systems, were helping the company figure out how to make a humanoid robot work in the real world.

While robotics experts have said that Tesla does not require a bipedal robot in order to put better automation to work in its factories, Tesla employees spoke at length on Friday about their dedication to the human form. Employees also said they were working on a special battery and actuators for their robots to keep power consumption to a minimum so their robot could work for a full day on a single charge.

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Tesla Autopilot employees also spoke extensively about their quest to make Tesla cars autonomous without adding any new hardware.

Tesla shows off a prototype of its humanoid robot at 2022 AI Day on Sept. 30.

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Musk explained that Tesla was holding this AI Day event, and showing off its robot prototype, “to convince some of the most talented people in the world like you guys, to join Tesla and help make it a reality.”

The CEO thinks the humanoid robot “can help millions of people,” he said, because if it works, the world will have what he called “a future of abundance, a future where there is no poverty, where people you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services.”

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In his signature grandiose manner, Musk said, “It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.”

Big promises

When Musk makes big promises, skeptics scoff and his loyal fans swoon.

The celebrity CEO has been promising self-driving electric vehicles since 2016, and has raised billions in capital for Tesla by promising shareholders that Tesla’s autonomous vehicle tech would enable customers to turn their cars into working robotaxis with just a software update.

While Musk said a coast-to-coast driverless demo would happen by the end of 2017, to this day Tesla has only released driver assistance systems that need to be constantly supervised by a human driver.

Tesla’s driver assistance systems, which are marketed as Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, FSD (short for Full Self-Driving capability) and FSD Beta in the US, have drawn federal and state level safety probes, and allegations of false advertising including by the California DMV and a number of its own customers.

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Tesla also has a rocky record with automation in its factories. In 2018, after trying to automate various aspects of vehicle production and quality assurance, Musk admitted “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” and “humans are underrated.”

Tesla is expected to post its third-quarter vehicle production and deliveries report within days of the recruiting event. Deliveries are the closest approximation for sales disclosed by Tesla and the quarterly delivery reports are closely watched by shareholders.

This story is developing…



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Realme 10 Pro series confirmed to launch with the latest Realme UI 4.0: Check new features here

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Smartphone maker Realme on Tuesday announced that Realme 10 Pro series will be the first batch of phones with Realme UI 4.0 out of box. As one of the first operating systems based on the newly released Android 13, Realme UI 4.0 incorporates a number of key Android 13 features while improving four key areas: design, interaction, fluidity and security, the company claims. Also Read – Realme 10 Pro Plus India pricing teased by company VP Madhav Sheth

In terms of visual changes, the new Realme UI 4.0 adopts a card-style layout, clustering different segments of information as well as the new control center in these ‘cards’. In addition, users can optimize card-styled control centers to get key information. Realme UI 4.0 also provides the blossom wallpaper and shadow-reflective clock for a more dynamic interface. Also Read – Realme 10 Pro series 5G launch in India date announced

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The Realme UI 4.0 adds some new features to AOD, such as the smart music AOD. For example, when you are listening to your favorite songs on Spotify, you can see the music player even without unlocking your phone. It also recommends 4 playlists that you may like according to the algorithm. If you double-tap the AOD, the music player automatically turns itself into an interactive panel where you can play back, pause, or play forward. Also Read – Realme 10 Pro Series 5G launched with curved display, 108MP cameras, and Dimensity 1080

“The basic system functions have been greatly enhanced in realme UI 4.0. The new powerful Dynamic Computing Engine boosts the overall performance and reduces the power consumption of the system, providing users with a long-lasting and smooth experience. As a result, the overall performance has been improved by 10%, while the battery life during gaming has increased by 4.7 percent,” the brand said in a statement.

Realme UI 4.0 innovatively employs Bitmoji which includes more diverse and personalized AOD emoji animations. realme UI 4.0 comes with a brand-new privacy tool called Private Safe based on Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), providing a full range of privacy protection services. Additionally, realme UI 4.0 has developed a new feature called ‘Auto Pixelate.’

Users are able to auto-pixelate their personal information on the screenshots taken from some frequently used instant messaging apps including Whatsapp and Messenger with one simple click, leaving all the concerns of revealing personal information behind.

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Google’s biggest Pixel Feature Drop arrives with free VPN, clear calling, and recorder labels

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Google is now rolling out the 12th Feature Drop for its Pixel phones. Dubbed the biggest Pixel Feature Drop of all time, the new software update for eligible Pixel phones brings a horde of new features. The highlighted ones include the free VPN service for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users as a part of the Google One subscription, new recorder speaker labels now that the recorder app can identify different voices, and Clear Calling that suppresses background noise during a call. Also Read – Google is shutting down Duplex on Web: Here’s what happens now

The Pixel Feature Drop is available with Android 13 QPR1 for the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro. But some features are exclusive to the Pixel 7 duo. One of them is VPN by Google One, which Google announced earlier this year will be free for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 users. This means no matter what type of Google One subscription a Pixel 7 series user has, the VPN will be accessible free of cost. Previously, VPN would become free only with a 2TB or higher subscription. Also Read – Google officially rolls out Android 13 TV: Check details

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But there is a catch, especially for Indian Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users. Google has noted that the “devices in India and Singapore aren’t eligible.” The devices in Singapore are not supported either, which means Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 users in both India and Singapore will not get the full advantage of owning those devices. Also Read – Leaked Android certificate leave millions of Samsung, LG phones vulnerable to malware

With the new Feature Drop, Google has added Speaker Labels to the Recorder app. You will need to update the app from the Play Store for the new feature to become available. Now when you record multiple voices, the app can detect individual voices and label them as ‘Speaker 1’ and ‘Speaker 2’ when transcribing instead of a single block of text for all speakers. This feature is available on Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a.

Google has also rolled out a new feature called Clear Calling. As the name suggests, this functionality, when turned on, helps suppress background noise so your voice sounds clear at the other end. This is similar to Apple’s Phone Noise Cancellation feature, which is available inside Accessibility. And just like Apple’s version, Google’s Clear Calling does not work for VoIP calls, which are calls made using internet apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Zoom. The Cough and Snore Detection on the Pixel 7 duo have been improved while also landing on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with this update.

The new update also brings some features for the Pixel Watch. After the update, the Pixel Watch — which is not sold in India — will receive the Fitbit Sleep Profile feature for Premium subscribers. A new Pixel Watch buyer gets the first six months free, but the user will need to pay to continue using benefits after that. Sleep Profile essentially gives a granular graph of your sleep, taking into account aspects such as duration, consistency, and disruption. There is an animal assigned to the user based on their sleep pattern.

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iPhone maker Foxconn reports slump in revenue after unrest and Covid outbreak at key China plant

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Foxconn workers at Taiwanese firm’s Zhengzhou, China factory, walked out over a pay dispute with the company. The Zhengzhou factory is estimated to account for more than 70% of Apple’s global assembly of iPhones.

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Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, on Monday reported a sharp drop in November revenue after the company struggled with a Covid outbreak and worker unrest at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in China.

The Taiwanese firm, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, said that revenue last month totaled 551.1 billion new Taiwan dollars (about $18.05 billion), down more than 29% versus October and over 11% lower compared to November 2021.

Foxconn said the fall was due to “production gradually entering off-peak seasonality and a portion of shipments being impacted by the epidemic in Zhengzhou.” The company gave no further details.

Zhengzhou, a city in China, is home to the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant, which is run by Foxconn.

In late October, the Zhengzhou factory was hit with an outbreak of Covid and Foxconn battled to get it under control with measures such as testing and isolating workers who were infected, and effectively locking down the plant.

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Many workers fled the factory shortly after the outbreak began.

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Last month, employees clashed with security personnel at the Zhengzhou plant and some workers took to social media to air their grievances over what appeared to be a delay in bonus payments. Foxconn later apologized for a “technical error” which caused the issues with workers’ pay.

In a bid to entice workers back to the factory, Foxconn announced a round of bonuses last month.

Foxconn did not address the rare worker unrest in its November revenue update but said the Covid outbreak was under control.

“At present, the overall epidemic situation has been brought under control with November being the most affected period by the epidemic,” the company said.

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“In addition to reallocating production capacity of different factories, we have also started to recruit new employees, and are gradually moving toward the direction of restoring production capacity to normal. The outlook for the fourth quarter is expected to be roughly in line with market consensus,” it added.

iPhone workers in China revolt against Foxconn and zero-Covid policy

Investors will now be watching for any impact on Apple, given its reliance on the Zhengzhou factory for global iPhone production.

Analysts at Evercore ISI said the issues at Foxconn could affect the production of between 5 million and 8 iPhone units in the December quarter, mostly at the high-end of Apple’s smartphone range.

This could negatively impact Apple’s revenue by $5 billion to $8 billion, the advisory firm added.

Correction: This story was updated to correct a conversion from new Taiwan dollars to U.S. dollars.



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