“Why give a human form to Optimus, Tesla’s robot?”

“Optimus could lift and carry heavy objects. Which is relevant for areas where arduous tasks are still partly performed by humans.” Frederic Monceau

FIGAROVOX/CHRONICLE – This September 30, Elon Musk presented the first prototype of his humanoid robot Optimus. Our columnist, whom readers find every Thursday, wonders about this choice of anthropomorphism.

Aurélie Jean is a doctor of science and an entrepreneur. She has notably published On the other side of the Machine. Journey of a scientist to the land of algorithms (2019)and Do algorithms make the law? (2022), published by L’Observatoire.


Many of us followed the comments that accompanied Elon Musk’s presentation on September 30 of the first prototype of his Optimus robot. The functionality of this machine is not yet clear but according to the owner of Tesla, Optimus could lift and carry heavy objects. This is relevant for areas such as manufacturing or construction sites, where heavy tasks are still partly carried out by humans. You will surely have noticed that this robot has the looks – even very approximate – of a human being like you and me, with its quadruped form, its head, its neck, and matching gestures like this wave of the hand in the direction of the public. Let’s ask the question: why…

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