Who's Got the Better-Looking Humanoid Robot, Tesla or Sanctuary AI?

This week Tesla unveiled this new footage of their Optimus, “a general purpose, bi-pedal, autonomous humanoid robot capable of performing unsafe, repetitive or boring tasks.” Startlingly, at the Tesla shareholders meeting Elon Musk stated that “the majority of Tesla’s long-term value will be Optimus,” not cars; he’s forecasting sales of the humanoid ‘bot will be in the billions, “Because I think basically everyone would want one.”

So here’s where Optimus is at, right now:

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Sanctuary AI, the company we looked at here, is also developing a humanoid robot. Here’s their version, called Phoenix:

Yes, yes, I know some day one of these things will kill one of us; it’s just a question of whether it will be an accident, or whether one of them decides to twist your head off because it’s had enough of your bossy bullshit. But in the meantime I have a silly question to ask, and it’s about design aesthetics: Who’s got the better-looking ‘bot?

Tesla’s Optimus

Sanctuary AI’s Phoenix

The answer’s clear: Hands-down, you’ve gotta give it up to Sanctuary AI’s designers. I don’t know who’s got the better tech at this point, but from an aesthetic perspective, Optimus still looks like the test mule that it is, and has that lame boutique mannequin head. Also, its torso looks like an upper body codpiece.

Phoenix is just further along and looks like a finished product. Check out its head, and the attendant sketches to show someone was thinking about what it should look like.

The translucent face is a nice touch, leading you to wonder: Is there something behind it, or not? Does this thing have a soul, or not? Can it really process those insults I call it to make my friends laugh? Why is it killing me, when I talk to it in the same way I talk to all lesser beings?

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Phoenix’s body cladding is all well-considered, with pleasing proportions, edges with breaks, two-tone paneling and color accents that excite. You’re not ashamed to have this thing carry your groceries at the Whole Foods. Whereas Optimus, yeah, I might have that thing physically move the Lexus that parked too close to me, but no one’s supposed to see that happening anyway.

This round goes to Sanctuary AI’s designers.

Source: core77

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