Google Acquires Major Military Robot Developer
Google is buying robot maker after robot maker, and its latest purchase, is a military robot maker called Boston Dynamics, which makes robots tough enough to run up to 29 mph, travel over rocky terrain and throw cinder blocks up to 17 feet. The companies Google has purchased have made a variety of robots which seemingly could be combined to make a robot that can sense its surroundings. Some examples of the robots Google already has purchased include: one from Schaft that will have great balance and strong limbs, ones that grasp with their robotic arms from Meka and Redwood robotics, and robotic camera systems from Bot and Dolly.
Boston Dynamics boasts BigDog, a headless four-legged monster hound which can hurl 35 lb cinderblocks 17 feet, and the Cheetah robot, which can move 28.3 miles per hour. Another robot. the tiny 11-lb Sand Flea can jump up to 30 feet in the air.
Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, emailed NBC News, "We have had a great time at Boston Dynamics, building our menagerie of robots and bringing them this far along. Now we are excited to take the next step, to see how much further ahead we can take robotics, working with Google’s gangbuster team."
Google isn’t alone; Amazon bought Kiva Systems last year to move packages in their warehouses. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in December that flying delivery drones would make Amazon’s deliveries within five years.