Google Makes a Surprising Purchase
Boston Dynamics has recently become the eighth robotics company to be purchased by Google within a year. What makes this purchase much more of a surprise than previous acquisitions is that Boston Dynamics are a military engineering company and at present they hold several contracts with the US military. While no-one at the moment is suggesting that Google are about to become a major military supplier it does mark a change in direction for Internet giant.
Who are Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics are a robotics engineering company that are well-known for publishing online videos of their walking robots. Their videos which have so far received millions of views from around the world show a their robots being tested in a variety of different situations.
Their BigDog robot is able to walk over rough ground conditions like snow or ice, while their WildCat robot can run rapidly and change direction quickly.
Google are not alone in moving into robotics
In recent months there has been an increasing interest in robotics by several of the major consumer Internet companies. This latest Google purchase follows on from the recent announcement from the online shopping giant Amazon that in the future they will using drones to deliver their products to their customers.
What does the future hold?
While there is a great deal of interest in robotics at the moment there does not yet appear to be a clear future direction emerging. Google has indicated that they intend to honour the contracts that Boston Dynamics have with the US military but they have not made any statement regarding the future direction of the company once those contracts are fulfilled.
It is however clear that whatever Google intends to do they are very serious about it. They have Andy Rubin in charge of the project and in a statement post to Google Plus their Chief Executive Larry Page had this to say:
“I am excited about Andy Rubin’s next project. His last big bet, Android, started off as a crazy idea that ended up putting a supercomputer in hundreds of millions of pockets. It is still very early days for this, but I can’t wait to see the progress.”
Waiting to see progress seems to be all anyone can do at the moment. It appears that the future developments in robotics are certainly going to be interesting to watch even if we don’t yet know what form those developments will take. Only one thing appears to be certain in all of this. Whatever Google and Amazon are planning to do in the area of robotics, they are investing considerable sums of money in it and therefore they must see it as potentially a very profitable future indeed.