The Google Robots Are Coming (Really)By: Chris Crum - December 4, 2013
The Google robots are coming. It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it?
Speaking with former Android chief Andy Rubin, The New York Times revealed that he is now leading a secretive robotics lab at the company, and has acquired seven companies in the field to help him. According to the report, the project is expected to lead to products in customers’ hands (at least in the B2B realm) more quickly than other “moonshot” ideas like self-driving cars.
While the report speculates that Google could one day use its robots in the product delivery space (not unlike these Amazon drones), the earlier goal is apparently to get them in use in manufacturing and logistics.
Rubin didn’t give much more in the way of detail about what he’s building or how much Google is spending on these robots, but the companies Google has acquired include: Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka, Redwood Robotics, Bot & Dolly, Autofuss (specializing in video production) and Holomni.
Here’s a look at a Schaft robot (from a year ago):
Industrial Perception (from earlier this year):
Here are a few from Meka (all from a year ago):
Here’s a look at what Bot & Dolly has done (they also worked on the film Gravity):
Go ahead and start letting your imagination run wild.
The Times warned us of a secret Google robot lab two years ago. Since then, Google [x] was revealed. Back then, however, Rubin was still running Android, so this appears to be a newer endeavor. Either way, it seems pretty legit, and it looks like we’re going to be getting acquainted with more robots and autonomous vehicles in the foreseeable future.
Luckily, Google has yet to acquire Mondo Spider (at least as far as we know):
Though they have rented them out in the past.
What would you like to see Google do with robots?
Image: Meka Robotics