The staggering recent advances in Generative AI has brought us to the cusp of a radical sea-change in how we use and interact with technology going forward, and that includes a realisation of science-fiction dreams (or is it nightmares?) – the Robot Revolution says Shahzad Shiekh. Astonishingly, it could be car-makers that lead the android charge into a new era!


Standby for the transition from automotive giants dabbling in amusing robotic shenanigans to the creation of humanoid robots capable of blending seamlessly into our daily lives. Remember Honda’s Asimo? Introduced in 2000 and retired in 2022, it served as a pioneering figure in this transition. Initially perceived as a novel spectacle, Asimo’s development laid the groundwork for advancements in robotic technology far beyond mere entertainment.

Resembling a small astronaut, Asimo captured hearts with its human-like actions such as walking, waving, and even dancing. This robot, however, was more than just a charming showpiece; it was a harbinger of the potential applications of robotics in various fields.

Obviously, arch-rival Toyota has also been involved in robotics from an early stage. Its less well-known T-HR3 humanoid (but remote controlled) robot has been around since 2017. But while Toyota’s latest robot demo was the cuddly Punyo, a soft robot designed for both utility and hugging, some companies are focusing on producing slick androids that look like they just walked off the set of I, Robot the movie!

Elon Musk’s Tesla introduced Optimus in 2022 (sadly missing the opportunity to call it Optimus Prime) and this this very human-like machine showcases abilities like dancing, yoga, and delicate object manipulation such as handling eggs, all of which demonstrates significant advancements in robotic dexterity.

These developments reflect a broader vision of robotics not just as tools for industrial or commercial use, but as integral components of daily life, assisting with chores, aiding the elderly, and offering companionship.

Optimus has the moves, but for mental capacity, prepare to have your mind blown by a joint venture between OpenAI (the people behind ChatGPT), Figure 1 robotics and BMW. Do check out my video or search for it online to see an extraordinary demonstration of what happens when you integrated Generative AI into robotics

We’re talking a whole new era of android that can engage in natural conversations, recognise and interact with objects, and perform tasks with a surprising degree of autonomy. This progress is emblematic of a shift towards creating machines that not only mimic human actions but also understand and respond to human needs in a nuanced way.

Why are car makers moving to making mechanoid beings? There’s a variety of factors, including the anticipated decline in personal vehicle ownership due to environmental concerns, urbanisation, and the advent of autonomous mobility solutions. Automotive companies are pivoting to robotics, leveraging their engineering prowess to stake a claim in this burgeoning field.

They know their customers connect with their brands on an emotional level, many car fans perceive automobiles as more than mere objects, so the logic follows that they transfer some of that emotional equity to a new line-up of robotic products that theoretically will become an essential part of our daily lives – just as the ubiquitous smart phone has become.

This evolution is not confined to the automotive industry; tech giants and startups alike are advancing robotics, aiming to create versatile machines that can serve as personal assistants, caregivers, and even companions. Expect everyone from Samsung to Google and Apple to be offering mechanoid mates along with a host of new companies like Softbank, Promobot, Ubtech and others.

As we stand on the cusp of this robotic revolution, questions about the future role of humans in a world increasingly populated by robots loom large. The development of humanoid robots challenges us to reconsider our relationship with technology, envisioning a future where machines not only perform tasks but also enrich our lives in meaningful ways.

Nonetheless this transition from science fiction to science fact is unfolding at an unprecedented pace, fundamentally transforming our societal fabric.

In essence, the evolution of robotics, spearheaded by automotive giants and fuelled by advancements in AI, is not just a testament to human ingenuity but also a reflection of our aspirations for a future where technology serves not just as a tool, but as a companion and helper in our daily lives.

Your next Nissan may be serving your dinner, doing your accounts and raising your children in the very near future!