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
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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid