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.

Robots that carry, sort and see: meet the seven types of robot that Google has purchased

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.”

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Managed IT Services Provid...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £12000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New Full-time, Part-time and Fr...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific