Google Takes On Robotics To Support Hardware Biz

Not to be outdone by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' announcement earlier this week, Google exec and Android founder Andy Rubin is spearheading a project to build robots.

Google's robotics project squarely aims at manufacturing; the robots would extend the manufacturing supply chain from the assembly line to delivery of the products at the consumer's front door, per reports.

"I am excited about [Android Founder] Andy Rubin's next project," Google founder Larry Page wrote in a Google+ post. "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."

The New York Times reports that during the past six months, Google quietly acquired seven technology companies in the United States and Japan in an effort to create a new generation of robots.

Among those companies are Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka and Redwood Robotics, Bot & Dolly, Autofuss and Holomni. Some of the companies have a focus on robotics, while others support advertising and design, and camera technology.

The report notes that Google has experimented with package delivery in urban areas across North America, but the real benefit will come from acquiring a contract manufacturer to build out its newly acquired hardware businesses. That will enhance its efforts to create an efficient and green manufacturing and assembly line, from raw materials to delivery, completely done in the United States.

Rubin lays claim to specific U.S. patents, but mostly in mobile design, such as estimating the remaining use time of a battery in a mobile device.

Palo Alto, Calif. will remain Google's home for its robotics arm, with an office in Japan, according to reports.


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