Google is hoarding robots. Here’s what they may be planning.

Just when it seemed like Amazon’s concept for a drone-powered fleet of quadricopters for Amazon Prime Air was going to be the most outlandish idea of the year from the tech sector, along comes the news that Google just acquired Boston Dynamics, the company best known for creating DARPA Atlas robots and “creepy galloping robots” like theBigDog and the Wild Cat. What the heck is going on here? It would be easy to think that this move was just another bit of Silicon Valley-style one-upmanship, this time between Google CEO Larry Page and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. By acquiring a robotic animals company with just … Continue reading Google is hoarding robots. Here’s what they may be planning.

Apple, Amazon, and Now Google: An Exciting Time for Robotics

This is a guest post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of IEEE Spectrum or the IEEE. The recent robot-related news from Apple, Amazon, and Google shows serious momentum for the robotics industry. In case you missed it, here’s a recap: Apple announced that it was investing $10.5 billion in supply chain robots and automation equipment and recently confirmed its acquisition of PrimeSense for $350 million (PrimeSense developed the 3D sensing technology originally used in the Microsoft Kinect). Amazon, in a CBS 60 Minutes piece aired early this month, showed off a new concept delivery system using … Continue reading Apple, Amazon, and Now Google: An Exciting Time for Robotics

Boston Dynamics Now Belongs to Google

Image: Awaissoft News The New York Times is reporting that Boston Dynamics, the company famous for robots like BigDog, LS3, Petman, Atlas, and WildCat, has been entirely swallowed up by Google. Early this month, news broke that Google had acquired seven robotics startups and that Andy Rubin, the Google engineer who spearheaded the development of Android, is leading this new robots effort at the company. Google was said to be interested in using robots not for consumer applications but rather in logistics, manufacturing, and related activities. Details, however, were scarce, and Google’s robotics plan remains a mystery. The acquisition of Boston Dynamics only makes things more nebulous. The previous robot … Continue reading Boston Dynamics Now Belongs to Google

Google Acquires Seven Robot Companies, Wants Big Role in Robotics

A few months ago, we heard rumors that Google was planning something big in robotics. We also heard that Andy Rubin, the engineer who spearheaded the development of Android at Google, was leading this new robotics effort at the company. Rubin, we were told, is personally interested in robots, and now he wants Google to have a major role in making robotics happen. Not just robotic cars, but actual robots. Today, an article in the New York Times has revealed more about Google’s plans: according to the article, the company is funding a major new robotics group, and that includes … Continue reading Google Acquires Seven Robot Companies, Wants Big Role in Robotics

Google and robots: The future just got a lot closer

Don’t look for an Android-powered Wall-E anytime soon, but Google’s recent move toward robotics signals a big momentum shift getting under way. The Meka S2 humanoid head, from one of the robotics companies that Google bought. (Credit: Meka) Ready or not, we’re about to enter the age of robotics. That’s the message underlying Google’s announcement on Wednesday that former Android honcho Andy Rubin would be aiming the company’s next “moon shot” at robots. Google has bought its way into the robotics game, purchasing seven companies to become the foundation of its robotics team, from makers of robotic arms and powered … Continue reading Google and robots: The future just got a lot closer

Andy Rubin’s next Google moonshot project: Robots

The former Android leader is in charge of one of Google’s “moonshots,” an effort to use robots to free humans from drudgery. One of the small robotics firms that Google has acquired is Schaft, a Japanese company focusing on a humanoid robot. (Credit: Schaft) When Andy Rubin handed leadership of the Android project to Sundar Pichai, the speculation began about what Rubin would be doing next for Google. Now we know: robots. In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Rubin said his robotics project is at the heart of one of Google’s long-term, big-deal “moonshot” programs that … Continue reading Andy Rubin’s next Google moonshot project: Robots