News / Science & Technology

Google Buys Another Robotics Firm

Boston Dynamics robot BigDog is seen climbing over a pile of rubble. The company was recently bought by tech giant Google for an undisclosed amount. (Boston Dynamics)
Boston Dynamics robot BigDog is seen climbing over a pile of rubble. The company was recently bought by tech giant Google for an undisclosed amount. (Boston Dynamics)

Related Articles

Google Quietly Amassing Robotic Know-How

But, the tech giant has not said what it's plans are for the technology

Video Robotic Sea Turtle Designed to Explore Shipwrecks

The robot can drive in all directions without disturbing water and churning up silt

Drones Already Work in Amazon's Warehouses

According to media reports, Amazon's warehouse robots could save the company as much as 40 percent of the cost of fulfilling orders
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Google has bought another robotics firm – the eighth robotics firm it has purchased recently – making it a leader in the robotics industry. 

The latest acquisition is Boston Dynamics, maker of robots for the U.S. military, including Cheetah, the world's fastest-running robot as well as other animal-like machines.

Google has been coy about the type of robots it’s looking to develop, but the company has put Andy Rubin in charge of the effort. He was in charge of Google’s popular Android operating system.

In a statement on his Google+ page, Google co-founder Larry Page wrote of the Boston Dynamics purchase, “I am excited about Andy Rubin's next project.  His last big bet, Android, started off as a crazy idea that ended up putting a supercomputer in hundreds of millions of pockets.  It is still very early days for this, but I can't wait to see the progress.”

The price of the purchase has yet to be made public.

Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 and largely develops robots for the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Many of those robots such as BigDog and WildCat, are well-known because of YouTube videos showing them in action.

Some analysts say Google’s foray into robotics means it’s trying to develop a robot that could potentially deliver goods to people at home and at work.   Amazon recently proposed developing robotic drones that could do that, but analysts say Google’s robots would likely make the deliveries in self-driving vehicles – a technology that Google is actively developing at its headquarters in California. 

Google has already begun to experimenting with a grocery delivery service in the San Francisco Bay area called Google Shopping Express. 

Google’s robotics team will be headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with an office in Japan, a leader in the robotics industry.

"I feel with robotics it's a green field," Rubin told the New York Times. "We're building hardware, we're building software. We're building systems, so one team will be able to understand the whole stack."

The previous companies Google has acquired are Autofuss, Bot & Dolly, Holomni, Industrial Perception, Meka Robotics, Redwood Robotics and Schaft.

Below is a video of Boston Dynamics robot Atlas, an anthropomorphic robot designed to operate on rough terrain.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid