Google robots to battle Amazon's drones
Google has acquired 7 companies over the last six months in order to kick start its robotics division, though the main focus will be on manufacturing and retail
It seems that future battles between technology companies will be fought via robotic proxy, with Amazon’s delivery-by-drone announcement matched by Google revealing their own secret robotics division.
The news comes directly from Andy Rubin, one of Google’s most respected senior executives and engineers. Speaking to the New York Times, Rubin said the company’s robotic research would be targeting manufacturing and retailing, but that “like any moonshot” the project would need “enough runway and a 10-year vision.”
The term moonshot is frequently used by Google employees in reference to the Google X Lab, the search giant’s research division responsible for ambitious projects including self-driving cars and Google Glass, but Rubin stressed that the robotics project is separate from this.
In order to further this goal Google has ‘opened their checkbook’ to Rubin’s project, buying up seven robotics companies from the US and Japan in order to bolster their technical knowledge and kick-start the division.
These companies include Industrial Perception, who specialise in creating robots resembling giant angle-poise lamps to sort and move packages, and Meka, who create “human-safe, human-soft” android arms and torsos.
Google is still keeping details about the project close to their chest, but Rubin compares the possibilities with the company’s self-driving car project, which seems to be rapidly moving towards feasibility despite being dismissed as science fiction when it launched in 2009.
Rubin, the man who be leading the project, previously worked for both Apple and Carl Zeiss – a German manufacturing company - and co-founded Android Inc, the company responsible for the eponymous operating system and named in honour of Rubin’s love of robotics.
Android Inc was bought by Google in 2005 and Rubin was placed in charge, overseeing the mobile OS’s startling rise to power. Android is now use by roughly 80 per cent of smartphones globally, with 1.5 million devices activated daily.
Rubin told the New York Times that he has “a history of making my hobbies into a career. This is the world’s greatest job. Being an engineer and a tinkerer, you start thinking about what you would want to build for yourself.”
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Web Developer/Designer - WordPress, PHP, HTML...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global 3D visualisation compa...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - Derbyshire, commutab...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - 12 Month Fixed Term ...