Google’s recent acquisition of Emu Messenger is just one of many items in recent news about improvements in perception and artificial intelligence (AI).
A discussion with Ryan Calo on Google, your personal data, and the consumer robotics market
Can someone tell me: What’s Google doing, making robots? Or at least: What is it doing, making such acquisitions?
When Google bought Boston Dynamics last December, the news made headlines, but it was not the first time the Internet giant has invested in DARPA-funded robotics. As part of Robohub’s Big Deals series, we asked Gill Pratt, Program Manager of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office, to shed some light on what DARPA thinks about Google’s robotics acquisitions, and what it might mean to the robotics and open source communities.
The continuing interest of Google in robotics over the last years and its newest activities in this regard confirms what all players active in robotics will confirm: service robotics is on the threshold of entering a new maturity level. Service robotics conquers new, commercial fields of application and is just becoming an independent industrial sector.
What does it mean to have giants like Google, Apple and Amazon investing in robotics? Since last December, Google alone has acquired a handful of companies in robotics, home automation and artificial intelligence. This can be pretty exciting for robotics. But what exactly is the internet giant planning to do with this technology? Is there something we should be worried about? If there is, what can we do about it?
What is one to make of this focus series … Big Deals: What It Means to Have the Giants Investing in Robotics … with the giants being Google, Amazon and Apple (as given in the preamble)? The assumption, of course, is that robotics investments by these companies represent a turning point in the evolution of robotics — perhaps something wholly different, outside the normal ebb and flow of robotics investments, acquisitions, and mergers. It is also assumed that the investments represent some type of trend, or at least have something in common.
As part of Robohub’s Big Deals series, startup expert Andra Keay asks Valery Komissarova, Grishin Robotics’ Director of Business Development, about what all the recent robotics acquisitions mean to the startup community.
When you’re shopping for the best online deals you’re probably not thinking much about the massive distribution network required to bring that pair of shoes to your doorstep. Is your quest for the best possible deal helping to usher in the next wave of automation?
Internet giants like Amazon and Google have an obligation to stay competitive and are going head-to-head over the online shopping space.
Whilst the word ‘robot’ generally conjures up visions of humanoids with superior intelligence, this science fiction image tends to forget the other type of robots: machines that carry out complicated motions and tasks, such as automated software processes1, industrial robots, unmanned vehicles (driverless cars, drones) or even prosthetics. And it is principally the programmable machine robots that are among the robotic advances being acquired by major companies across the globe2. These are also the robotic technologies that are disrupting commercial production and employment, and will likely continue to do so over the remainder of this decade.
Recent eye-popping acquisitions of robotics technology companies by giants like Google and Amazon might suggest that the automated age is upon us. Is it? Why now? Are these the companies that will usher in the commercial robotics and drone era? And will the little guy continue to find a place in the new epoch? While the excitement surrounding all of this suggests that a huge movement is afoot, those in the community should be relieved that we are finally seeing any activity.
In a Wall Street Journal story by Lorraine Luk, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou met with Google Robotics Division Andy Rubin in Taipei recently and they discussed new robotic technologies. Gou was excited by new automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin. Rubin asked Gou to help integrate the robotic companies that Google acquired to target the areas of manufacturing and electronics assembly that Google plans for their future.
There is much speculation about Google’s intentions with its acquisition of eight robot companies in the fall of last year. What has been missing in this speculation is just how much it has spent on the eight companies.
If the world outside the robotics community didn’t know about Boston Dynamics, Kiva and Nest, they do now. Recent robotics acquisitions and investments by major-league players like Google, Apple and Amazon have generated a blitz of headlines in the robotics world and beyond. Are we witnessing a power play in the making? What does it mean for the future of robotics? And is all the hype beneficial or harmful to the robotics community?
This month’s Robotics by Invitation will serve as a launch for Robohub’s newest focus series on how big time corporate attention effects the culture of robotics. In the coming weeks we will be bringing you insight from the likes of Steve Cousins, Dan Kara, Valery Komissarova, Avner Levin, Chad Partridge, Gill Pratt, Erin Rapacki, Frank Tobe, and Rob Wilson.
Google is in the business of providing information. Its mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google’s acquisition of DeepMind significantly augments its ability to collect and organize data to enhance its services towards its stated mission. The Google executive team knows what the big data evangelists have been claiming for some time – the chance to gather data effectively is a game changer. It also gets patents on improved image search capabilities.