Mark Stephen Meadows on “What does it mean to have giants like Google, Apple and Amazon investing in robotics?”

12 February 2014

share this:

Google, is the wild card for me.  With more acquisitions (DeepMind, Boston Dynamics, Redwood Robotics, Industrial Perception, Meka, Schaft, and others) than Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft combined, the GOOG looks to be rigging up a kit that would offer excellent image recognition + navigation + mobility.  A robot that can roam around your home or maybe your city, and offer a helpful service.  My bet is that these Googlebots (perhaps they will be cars) will have sharp eyes, simple yet helpful demeanors, and we’ll trade that robotic service for our personal info.  Then Google will sell that info to advertisers.  So the same Google formula the company has used with email, docs, voice, maps, and the others.

But overall, in regards to these three companies, this marks the beginning of an industry — an industry that will probably not be dominated by these three behemoths. It means we’re at the start of the robotics industry.  The gun went off in 2013 and the clattering has begun.

This “Industry Start” concept was Bill Gates’s — he’s the one that made this comparison in a now-famous article for Scientific American.  History’s repeating itself.  The comparisons are thick, worth reading, and intricate, and we can see this still playing out today. IBM was a major player in the PC revolution, but Apple (a scrappy and innovative little company) ate their lunch, as did Microsoft (that other scrappy little company that emerged as a bit of a parasite, writing the OS for these new PCs).  So even if one of these big three is still around in a few years, I won’t be surprised if the robotics market is actually eclipsed by a company we don’t yet know much about. I have to point out, though, that IBM is still a major player in the robotics market, with over US$1b invested last year and three more lined up for the coming year; their participation in Watson looks to be a serious participation in this industry.

In any case, it seems that our personal data will be a major revenue stream for these companies (and that this trail of bit-crumbs will lead salesmen to your doorstep).  Each of these three companies are linked to the sale of physical goods (Amazon and Apple are evident, but let’s remember that Google is an advertising company, so they are also dependant on links to sales channels).  The industry has begun, Google will be there to collect our information, and the robots will be there to sell it.

Who the buyer is, however, remains the key question.

Read more answers →

tags: , , ,

Mark Stephen Meadows is President of BOTanic, a company that provides natural language interfaces for conversational avatars, robots, IoT appliances, and connected systems.
Mark Stephen Meadows is President of BOTanic, a company that provides natural language interfaces for conversational avatars, robots, IoT appliances, and connected systems.

Related posts :




NVIDIA and ROS Teaming Up To Accelerate Robotics Development, with Amit Goel

Amit Goel, Director of Product Management for Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA, discusses the new collaboration between Open Robotics and NVIDIA. The collaboration will dramatically improve the way ROS and NVIDIA's line of products such as Isaac SIM and the Jetson line of embedded boards operate together.
23 October 2021, by

One giant leap for the mini cheetah

A new control system, demonstrated using MIT’s robotic mini cheetah, enables four-legged robots to jump across uneven terrain in real-time.
23 October 2021, by

Robotics Today latest talks – Raia Hadsell (DeepMind), Koushil Sreenath (UC Berkeley) and Antonio Bicchi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

Robotics Today held three more online talks since we published the one from Amanda Prorok (Learning to Communicate in Multi-Agent Systems). In this post we bring you the last talks that Robotics Today...
21 October 2021, by and

Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by

Robohub gets a fresh look

If you visited Robohub this week, you may have spotted a big change: how this blog looks now! On Tuesday (coinciding with Ada Lovelace Day and our ‘50 women in robotics that you need to know about‘ by chance), Robohub got a massive modernisation on its look by our technical director Ioannis K. Erripis and his team.
17 October 2021, by

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association