Google has confirmed its purchase of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has made research robots for the Pentagon. This makes the Boston Dynamics the eight robotics company that Google has acquired over the past six months. No word on what exactly Google has planned for these robotic acquisitions but they are sure to have something cool in the works and we can always speculate.
The New York Times reports; “The deal is also the clearest indication yet that Google is intent on building a new class of autonomous systems that might do anything from warehouse work to package delivery and even elder care.”
Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 by Marc Raibert, a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It has not sold robots commercially, but has pushed the limits of mobile and off-road robotics technology, mostly for Pentagon clients like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa. Early on, the company also did consulting work for Sony on consumer robots like the Aibo robotic dog.
Boston Dynamics’ walking robots have a reputation for being extraordinarily agile, able to walk over rough terrain and handle surfaces that in some cases are challenging even for humans.
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Source: New York Times
- Google expands its robot army with acquisition of ‘Bigdog’ maker Boston Dynamics (venturebeat.com)
- Google purchases robotics firm Boston Dynamics (otroandroidblog.wordpress.com)
- If You Could Have Any Boston Dynamics Robot, How Would You Use It? (gizmodo.com)