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Just a couple videos from tonight's Tesla factory unveil. Absolutely stunning. Armies of robots doing everything. Seen the movie Iron Man? This is the real thing.

The size of this thing has to be seen to be believed. The plant is nearly a mile long. Tesla's only using one end of it and it still takes ten minutes to walk the length of the Tesla portion, passing scores of robot stations like this on the way.

This is the future of American manufacturing. They can make anything. It's almost 100% vertically integrated, which means everything from plastics and metals to batteries, electronics, motors and component assembly is done here, with flexible multi-purpose robots. Every car can be different, with no retooling, because the robots can do anything. It's just software.
Ray Cromwell's profile photoNick Taylor's profile photoRicardo Reyes's profile photoChris Anderson's profile photo
Wow... Tesla has one fancy factory.
This might shift the labor cost calculus. Timely.
Is their first gain from the robots cost or precision?
Very cool. This is the 3D printer I want!! :)

I bet at night, when nobody is looking, these robots work at replicating themselves instead!... ;)
Btw +Chris Anderson, I read somewhere that Tesla were incredibly secretive & wouldn't let anyone take photos, then why are they unveiling this through videos?
Shared to my bookmarks circle for later.
nice , i am also interested in like this workshop.
i am final year student of electronics & communication branch . my interest is in robotics.
Thanks for posting! I have read the latest Wired cover to cover so this fills the gap nicely. That's one thing I've really liked about Google+, links like this from people that deserve the audience.
Thanks for sharing that, Chris. Fun stuff!
+Chris Anderson This sort of stuff has been going on for a while at Toyota, or at least their parts supplier, Toyotetsu. My dad is a "Welding Engineer" at Toyotetsu in San Antonio, but he isn't the one doing the welding, its robots just like these that are. He does the programming for the robots, getting the patterns just right for each part change that goes through. They opened the facility for tours one day for a "Family Day" and, while the Toyotetsu plant isn't quite as big as you describe it, it was still a sight to see.
David E
This is the better and faster that we need to see more of in the US.
My dad is an engineer, in the automotive industry, that programs the robots. He has worked at many factories, and used to let me come to work with him, sometimes, to help build the robots on the assembly lines. So much effort goes into human safety on those lines, it is crazy. Almost as much technology goes into detecting and preventing the tiny amount of "human error" as goes into making the robots work.
is that from the new tesla/toyota plant in ontario, canada?
+Leo G How do you explain Toyota's success in manufacturing in the US, don't they have to pay the same tax rates? Don't they paid for expensive US health insurance? Don't they paid competitive salaries that are greater than they do in their asian joint-ventures even if they aren't unionized? General Motors got a $50 billion tax credit against future profits.

And how does this logic apply to Intel and it's super capital intensive fabs? They're mostly automated too, but according to the same logic, they should all be located in countries with the lowest tax rates, lowest salaries, and lowest health insurance. Yet, Intel does not do so, and I would gather that the predominant variable for Intel is yields, and that labor and tax costs are not the primary advantage of their competitiveness, but the fact that they build cutting edge fabs and stay technologically ahead of their competitors.

It seems to me that not automation is created equal, that success or failure is a function of both manufacturing costs as well a competitive moat around the product itself. Apple phones would probably sell just as well if they used more expensive labor or robots.
What kind of robots are they? It's great to see this level of automation here but I want the arms to be designed and produced domestically also.
Is Intel going senile? What happened to only the paranoid survive? Unless they've got special dispensation, most Western countries who build in China essentially are forced into joint ventures which share their intellectual property. They could very quickly find another plant built not too long after, which makes chips on the same process and seems remarkably similar to their architecture.
What's good about this is that they actually pay the robots enough to afford to buy the cars.
Thanks for coming. Enjoyed showing our place to self professed "factory geek"
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