Google bought seven startups from Japan and the U.S., working on robotics

A few months ago it was rumored that Google has conceived some sort of breakthrough in robotics. Later it became known that this direction of translation of one of the most talented managers - Andy Rubin (Andy Rubin), who previously led the development of Android.

And just today from an interview in NY Times Rubin became clear that specifically conceived by Google. She obviously wants to become the world’s largest manufacturer of robots. It is not about autonomous vehicles, and about the real humanoid robot type.

In an interview with Andy Rubin said that the budget is allocated to the new division of robotics, as well as the purchase of a number of startups that specialize in this area. Plan has already brought to life: over the last few months Google secretly bought seven startups from Japan and the U.S., working on problems of artificial intelligence.

Among the acquisitions Google:

Schaft: a small group of Japanese engineers who have recently left the University of Tokyo to create a humanoid robot type. Previously, the group participated in the competition DARPA Robotics Challenge.
Industrial Perception: a startup that has developed a system of computer vision and robotic arms (hands) for automatic loading and unloading trucks. Startup split from Willow Garage in March 2012.
Meka and Redwood Robotics, manufacturers humanoid robots and manipulators hands of San Francisco. Company Meka robot known M1. Company Redwood Robotics, supposedly working on creating a very cheap hand-manipulator.
Bot & Dolly, a manufacturer of robotic systems for movies that have recently been used to create special effects in the film “Gravity”. Such a system provides precise movement of cameras in space along a predetermined path.
Autofuss, robotics manufacturer for shooting advertising and design.
Holomni, a small design firm who can provide high-tech wheels.

Seven of these companies folded efforts can create a new model of mobile humanoid robot. The only question is how it is going to be used by Google. Andy Rubin did not say on what specific projects running his unit.

5 December 2013

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