On the company's fourth-quarter earnings call, Musk said that a humanoid robot is the most important product that the company is developing this year.
Musk first teased theTeslaBot using a human in a robot suit in August, when he warned it wouldn't work.
I think it has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time, according to Musk.
Musk said that the company isn't currently working on a $25,000 vehicle, and that they won't be introducing the Cybertruck this year. The chip shortage would make it impossible to release new model vehicles without causing fewer total vehicles to be delivered.
The robot may never come to fruition. Musk said Wednesday that it has the potential to change the economy if it can perform tasks that are normally carried out by humans.
The foundation of the economy is labor, he said. What happens if you don't have a labor shortage? I don't know what an economy means at that point. That is what Optimus is about.
There are many tasks that still need to be done by humans despite advances in robotic technology.
It is intended to be friendly, and navigate through a world of humans, and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks, Musk said in August.
The robot is an example of Musk's showmanship, in which he announces that he is working on exciting products for years into the future to encourage people to back him. Those announcements don't happen on time.
At an event in April, Musk said the company would have 1 million autonomously piloted vehicles on the road in 2020. There are still robotaxis that don't exist.
CNBC's Kif Leswing contributed to the article.