How Much Does a Robot Cost?

How much does a robot cost? Artificial Intelligence and humanoid robots were once confined to sci-fi; now Tesla, Figure Robotics/OpenAI, Unitree, and many other companies are making AI humanoid robots a reality. Are you ready for a humanoid robot assistant? If so, let's discuss how much these robots cost and when they'll be available for personal use.

How Much Does a Robot Cost? Featuring: Tesla Optimus 2, Figure 1 with OpenAI, and Unitree 1.
Tesla Optimus 2, Figure 1 with OpenAI, and Unitree 1

“We are able to do simple factory tasks or at least, I should say, factory tasks in the lab. We do think we will have Optimus in limited production in the natural factory itself, doing useful tasks before the end of this year. And then I think we may be able to sell it externally by the end of next year. These are just guesses,”

Elon Musk at TSLA Q1 2024 earnings call.

Robots have captivated my imagination as fascinating tools and entertaining characters in science fiction films and literature since I was a small child. An early favorite cartoon was "The Jetsons", an animated cartoon series set in futuristic Orbit City. The show introduced "Rosie the Robot" - the kind, funny, and efficient maid. She embodied the ideal of robots as helpful and personable companions. This early exposure likely laid the initial foundation for my lifelong fascination with sci-fi and technology and influencing my career path towards Internet and software development, and now AI-enhanced education, consulting and application development.

The Jetsons
The JetsonsPinterest

"The Jetsons" left a lasting mark on popular culture and on me. A 2012 article by Matt Novak at Smithsonian Magazine, "50 Years of the Jetsons: Why The Show Still Matters." points out that the series is an enduring reference point for future technologies. Rosie the Robot represents the type of convenience and efficiency we now seek in personal humanoid robots. The childhood dream of possibly owning such a robot has transitioned from sci-fi to reality, with companies like Tesla, Figure, and Unitree making actual robots today.

Now, sixty-plus years later the robotics industry is exploding and evolving quickly, with predictions from financial prognosticators like Goldman Sachs suggesting that the global market for humanoid robots could grow to $38 billion by 2035. These developments in artificial intelligence and robotics technology make it increasingly feasible to own a humanoid robot, moving us closer to the world once imagined in "The Jetsons." As companies innovate and market dynamics shift, the accessibility and functionality of personal robots are set to expand, bringing futuristic visions to our everyday lives.

The Optimus G2 Humanoid Robot by Tesla

How much does a robot cost? The Optimus G2 Humanoid Robot by Tesla
Optimus G2 Humanoid Robot by TeslaFair Use: Screenshot

The Second-Generation Optimus G2 Enhances Productivity

Optimus G2 Overview

  • Optimus 2 Robot Cost: $25,000 and $30,000

  • Capabilities: Perform potentially nearly any task a human can do

  • Size: Five feet, eight inches tall, 125 pounds

  • Availability: Expected to ship in Q4 of 2025

Optimus, also known as TeslaBot and Bumblebee, is a general-purpose robotic AI-enhanced humanoid under development by Tesla, Inc. as was initially unveiled at the company's Artificial Intelligence (AI) Day event on August 19, 2021. The second-generation Optimus G2 enhances productivity across multiple sectors including manufacturing, construction, and healthcare. Tesla CEO Elon Musk estimated the Optimus G2 robot cost will be between $25,000 and $30,000, emphasizing efforts to scale production while keeping prices feasible—ideally under half the cost of a typical car.

Generation 2 represents a significant milestone for Tesla and the broader field of robotics, as demonstrated in a recent video about the Optimus G2. The G2 robot demonstrates the rapid progress and innovation that Tesla has made in developing humanoid machines that can rival or surpass human capabilities.

Optimus G2 closely emulates the human body, standing five feet eight inches tall and weighing 125 pounds. Its capabilities are expanding rapidly, with the potential to perform nearly any human task. It is designed for endurance, operates for several hours on a single charge, and is suitable for continuous use in various environments.

Figure One Humanoid Robot by Figure/OpenAI/Microsoft

How much does a robot cost? Figure One Robot by Figure Robotics, OpenAI and Microsoft.
Figure One Robot by Figure/OpenAI/MicrosoftFair Use: Screenshot

Figure One Overview

  • Figure One Robot Cost: $30,000 and $150,000

  • Capabilities: AI for sophisticated tasks - specific capabilities emerging

  • Size: Five feet, eight inches tall, 125 pounds

  • Availability: Not available to consumers, developmental/partnership phase

Introducing Figure One

Figure Robotics posted a video announcement on Mar 13, 2024 on YouTube titled "Figure Status Update - OpenAI Speech-to-Speech Reasoning". The video begins by introducing Figure One being described as "able to perceive and interact with objects in its environment". The AI-enhanced personal robot is asked what it sees and responds by identifying a red apple on a plate, a drying rack with cups and a plate, and a person standing nearby with their hand on the table. 

Figure One is requested to provide something to eat, and the apple is chosen as "the only edible item on the table", and it is given to the requester. The AI robot is then asked about the next step for the dishes on the table, identifies that the dishes should be placed in the drying rack, and proceeds to arrange the dishes to the drying rack. Who likes doing dishes? Figure One is further asked to evaluate its performance, stating that it "believes it did well by correctly placing the apple, removing trash, and putting the tableware in the right place".

Figure Robotics Partners with OpenAI and Microsoft 

Figure Robotics has partnered with OpenAI and Microsoft the robot's cost is estimated to be between $30,000 and $150,000, reflecting the cutting-edge technology and AI integration that the robot offers. Figure One is designed to leverage advanced AI for sophisticated tasks. While specific details about its capabilities are still emerging, the robot aims to excel in environments requiring intelligent interactions and decision-making. This technology could revolutionize fields ranging from customer service to intricate industrial tasks.

Unitree H1 Robot

How much does a robot cost? Unitree H1 Robot
Unitree H1 RobotFair Use: Screenshot

Unitree H1 Overview

  • Robot Cost: $90,000

  • Capabilities:  Fastest running humanoid robot, strong and flexible 

  • Size:  5 feet 11 inches and weighing 104 pounds

  • Availability: not available to consumers, developmental/partnership phase

Introducing Unitree H1

Last May the Chinese robotics company Unitree introduced the soon-to-be-available H1 as its first universal humanoid robot. The Unitree Human 1' is a full-size general-purpose AI-enhanced humanoid robot capable of running with a stable gait while possessing highly flexible movement capabilities, and can walk and run autonomously in complex terrains and difficult and dangerous environments.

Stating a planned price tag of under US$90,000, the H1 is intended to rival other humanoid bots such as those made by Tesla and Figure. As far as basic specs go, it stands 1,805 mm tall (71 in), weighs about 47 kg (104 lb), and can carry a payload of up to 30 kg (66 lb).

The Unitree website features the most complete and concise list of specifications of the robot I found of the three competitors. This reveals an impressive combination of compactness and capability. Standing almost six feet tall and weighing in at just over one hundred pounds, this robot possesses a human-like stature, enabling it to integrate into environments designed for human interaction. This makes it a good fit for applications in domestic settings and various industries where human presence is typical, like healthcare or customer service.

The H1 is strong for its size. The peak torque density of 189 Newton meters per kilogram underscores its performance and capability in terms of strength relative to its mass. This measurement is particularly important in robotics as it indicates how much torque the robot's motors can generate per unit of weight. High torque density allows the robot to handle tasks that require considerable force, such as lifting heavy objects or operating tools in construction or manufacturing settings.

Mobility features are crucial for dynamic environments, and with a moving speed of about 10.83 feet per second—and the potential to exceed 16.40 feet per second—this robot sets a standard close to athletic human performance. Such speed is beneficial for rapid task completion and crucial in emergency scenarios where time is critical, such as search and rescue operations.

The endurance of the robot is supported by an 864-watt-hour battery, which is quickly replaceable, ensuring minimal downtime and enhanced productivity. This feature is particularly valuable in continuous operation contexts like factories or long-duration tasks where constant human labor is not feasible.

Unitree's H1 features advanced 360° depth sensing through 3D LIDAR and a depth camera, the robot is said to be able to competently navigate complex environments safely and interact with objects and people with high precision. This technology enables the robot to perceive its surroundings in detail which is crucial for tasks requiring fine motor skills and spatial awareness.

Are You Ready to Welcome a Robot Into Your Home?

Are you ready to own your robot and welcome it into your home? These three industry leaders and many others are paving the way even if the robots aren't commercially available quite yet. The cost of owning a humanoid robot will vary significantly based on the model and capabilities. While Tesla's Optimus G2 and Unitree's H1 are projected to be relatively affordable at upwards of $30,000 to under $100,000, Figure One robots will cost up to $150,000.

As these artificial intelligence-powered robots and amazing technologies develop, we move quickly and even closer to a future where having a personal robot is not just a dream inspired by "The Jetsons", but a tangible reality.

What's Next in Tech Essentials at Resident?

Is having a humanoid robot one of your tech essentials for 2024? For those of us who grew up dreaming of robots like Rosie and C3PO from Star Wars, the advent of these advanced humanoid robots represents a thrilling convergence of science fiction and real-world innovation. As we look ahead, the possibilities for how these robots will enhance our lives are boundless, marking an exciting chapter in the story of human ingenuity.

About the Author:

Mark Derho is a seasoned writer in the Tech sector, bringing over 25 years of industry experience. As a Certified Google Partner, Mark has honed his expertise in corporate and small business website design, SEO/SEM digital marketing, and advertising. Mark has consistently stayed at the forefront of digital innovation, mastering new and emerging technologies. Recently, he has focused on leveraging artificial intelligence tools to drive business growth and efficiency, underscoring his commitment to continuous learning and digital advancement.

How Much Does a Robot Cost? Featuring: Tesla Optimus 2, Figure 1 with OpenAI, and Unitree 1.
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