As it turns out, while we were contemplating what might be in the mysterious Google barge, and snickering about Amazon’s flying drones, Google has been buying up high-tech companies as part of a plan to create advanced robots for the manufacturing and logistics sectors.
At the helm of this project is former Android chief Andy Rubin, who in a New York Times interview suggested the robots could be involved in home delivery, or could be used to assemble electronics.
As part of the program, Google has acquired a number of different companies: SCHAFT in Japan, which develops humanoid robots; Holomni, which makes advanced vehicle casters; Industrial Perception, a robotic vision and AI company that works in the logistics sector; Redwood Robotics, which develops robotic arms for manufacturing; Bot & Dolly, which developed a robotic platform for movie cameras and design solutions, and its sister company Autofuss; and Meka, another humanoid robot developer.
Google is already providing some delivery services as part of its Google Shopping offering in some cities, but no robotic deliveries as of yet.
The robotics group will be based in Palo Alto, and also have an office in Japan. Rubin was a robotics engineer at Carl Zeiss prior to his career at Apple and Google.
Source: New York Times