Starting from December last year, Google has acquired at least six robots companies or companies creating technologies used in the development of robotics. The acquisition of Boston Dynamic (the creators of Big Dog) on December last year and the recent acquisition of DeepMind Technologies has made a few people to wonder about Google’s actual intentions for buying all those robots.
Former Google Android lead and current Google Robot Guru Andy Rubin‘s list of acquired companies reads a bit like a baseline robot kit:
- Redwood Robotics for robot arms
- Holomni for robot wheels
- Bot & Dolly for robotics cameras
- Boston Dynamics for creepy and cool mobile robots
- DeepMind Technologies for artificial intelligence
- Meka Robotics for humanoid robots
- Industrial Perception for computer vision (which may or may not be for robotics)
While we are well aware of Google’s interest in self-driving cars, the robot end-game is unclear. Sure, you can build an army of C-3POs, but for what?
Well, robots are excellent at repetitive tasks, like changing the settings on millions of computers so that they have Google.com as their home page and Google as their default search engine. Would these Google Robots invade homes to make the change or would Google offer it as a service? Send us your computer and our robots will “fix” them.
No one knows. Until then, I offer you the comic guesswork above.