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Google Acquires Boston Dynamics 104

Posted by timothy
from the oh-you're-just-paranoid dept.
First time accepted submitter totally_mad writes "The New York Times reports that Google has acquired Boston Dynamics, a company that is primarily a concept robot maker for the military. The robot wars appear to be heating up between the big corporations, with Amazon recently announcing plans to have 30-minute home deliveries using drones. Perhaps Boston Dynamics', or now Google's, Cheetah will outrun the drone!"
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Google Acquires Boston Dynamics

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Saturday December 14, 2013 @10:30AM (#45688875)

    Will they maintain its current (quite lucrative) military business? I can almost see Google becoming a defense contractor, and it would be one way of addressing their "we need revenue streams other than search ads" issue, which has been their main risk on the financial side for years.

    But defense contracting would be a bit of a shift in how they like to do business, and I'm not sure a positive one. Alternately, they could just repurpose the acquired tech and expertise towards Google's own robotics projects, and dump the military clients. That would be leaving quite a bit of money and existing business on the table, though, not to mention possibly annoying some politically powerful folks.

  • DARPA droids! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaTrueDave (992134) * on Saturday December 14, 2013 @10:37AM (#45688903)

    We've already seen some of the incredible Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [darpa.mil] droids that have come out of that shop, and one can only imagine what designs might be classified and unknown to the public.

    There's the humanoid robot, Atlas [youtube.com].
    The RC car with a secret, the SandFlea [youtube.com].
    There's the robot that runs faster than any man, Cheetah [youtube.com].
    The packmule that can't be tipped over, Big Dog [youtube.com].
    And the frightening combination of tech, the robot that runs fast on ANY terrain, WildCat [youtube.com].

    It will be interesting to see what Google does with their droids. Their robot shop is being headed by the guy that made Android the most popular smartphone OS, Andy Rubin [slashdot.org]. He tweeted a link to the New York Times story yesterday, along with the comment, "The future is looking awesome!" Rubin was a robotics engineer for Apple, and the lens company, Carl Zeiss, before starting with Google.

    Regardless of your feelings about droids, I think we're going to see huge advances in robotics now that Google is jumping in with both feet.

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