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Google's new innovation? Robots

Posting in Technology
 
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After quietly acquiring a number of robotics companies, Google is looking to diversify away from consumer technology and the Internet -- in order to tap in to the financial boon manufacture robots has to offer.

The search engine giant's former mobile software head Andy Rubin has been leading the charge, creating a new division specializing in robotics suitable for the manufacturing industry, according to The New York Times.

The new group is not focused on consumer-based robotics -- unlike technological innovations produced by the firm including the mobile operating system Android and the Google Glass headset -- but perhaps the move is unsurprising, considering Google's development of predictive and intuitive technologies found in other products. The end result could be automating existing parts of supply chains, which could be used in shipping and delivery services.

Google Chief Executive and chairman Larry Page said on Wednesday it was "early days" for the project, but he was interested to monitor its progression. Rubin, who has a background in robotics, said:

"I have a history of making my hobbies into a career. This is the world’s greatest job. Being an engineer and a tinkerer, you start thinking about what you would want to build for yourself."

Google confirmed to Computerworld that it's been buying up robotics companies for the past six months. Among the seven companies acquired are Schaft, a small team from Tokyo, and Bot & Dolly, which develops robotic camera systems.

The new group will be based in Palo Alto, California.

Via: New York Times

Image credit: Flickr/Martin Fisch

— By on December 4, 2013, 11:58 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure