Google’s Android Dream

Check out this excellent post by Prof. Illah Nourbakhsh of CMU  on Google’s robotics acquisitions: Google’s Android Dreams

Over the last six months “The Googles” have been picking up robotics companies. They raised the total to eight when they purchased Boston Dynamics In early December. Google is investing heavily in robotics because they know what we at Vigilant Robots also know: robotics are going to be the ‘plastics’ of the early 21st century.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Robot patrolling the receiving dock, and monitoring changing temperatures.

Just as with plastic  in the 1950’s there was a huge amount of basic research needed to set the stage, and we have seen that research being done in robotics over the last 20 years.

Just as with plastics in the 1950’s, once that stage was set, the breakthroughs exploded, and those who saw what was coming revolutionized how they did business. And just as plastics completely changed our everyday lives, robots will as well.

In his recent article, noted roboticist Illah Nourbaksh of CMU suggested: “Autonomous robots will displace our sense of control precisely because they are out of our control, but occupy the physical world and demand our attention.”

Get ready for the robots, they’ll be coming to a neighborhood near you!

Our belief is that robotics are poised on the edge of explosive growth, but the robots will have to ‘earn their pay‘. to become ubiquitous.  That is why we focus on security robots.


Where is your robot?® Ours are made by Vigilant Robots  Stay current with developments in mobile robotics by subscribing to our newsletter.


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  1. #1 by Carmen I. Small on December 21, 2013 - 1:10 am

    We’re seeing more robotics in society, from Roombas at home to robotics on factory floors. In Japan, about 1 in 25 workers is a robot, given their labor shortage. So it’s plausible that robots in the service of national intelligence may interact with society at large, such as autonomous cars or domestic surveillance robots or rescue robots. If so, they need to comply with society’s laws too, such as rules of the road or sharing airspace and waterways.

  2. #2 by Colin Lewis on December 24, 2013 - 11:23 am

    I really hope that Professor Nourbakhsh was writing this somewhat tongue in cheek. As someone involved in a mapping program surely logic would indicate that the acquisitions by Google are part of its mobile and mapping strategy. If you look at Google’s acquisitions of mobile and mapping they have spent over $14 billion but possibly less than $300 million on the robot acquisitions according to their latest filings to end September (Boston Dynamics will not have added much to that sum). The sheer amount of human effort that goes into Google’s maps is just mind-boggling. Maps are clearly at the core of Google’s development strategy, from driverless cars, online shopping and search, to wearable technology. Many of the recent robot acquisitions will enhance Google’s mobile strategy and improve its delivery services, hardware capabilities and above all localization experiences.

    I wrote about this earlier, Are maps and localization driving Google’s robot strategies? http://robotenomics.com/2013/12/18/google-are-maps-and-localization-driving-their-robot-strategies/

    and the Washington Post later rote: These robots, once they’ve been outfitted with cameras, could be sent anywhere in the world as part of a new Google Maps initiative. – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2013/12/19/google-is-hoarding-robots-heres-what-they-may-be-planning/

    Incidentally I really like your security robots and believe they could be adopted on a big scale.

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