Andy Rubin's new role at Google? Building robots

By on December 4, 2013, 12:15 PM
google, amazon, android, ups, andy rubin, robotics, robots, drones

Wow, who knew that Amazon’s recent package delivery drone reveal would have such far-reaching implications? After learning that UPS was also working on an unmanned delivery system, we’re now hearing more about Google’s next “moonshot” project and it’s a doozy.

Led by Android founder Andy Rubin, the search giant is working to make humanoid robots a reality. According to the New York Times, Google’s bots could be put to work in manufacturing lines, assist with online retail, replace some of the monotonous work necessary when building electronic devices or even like Amazon and UPS, deliver packages.

It makes sense when you think about it as Google has acquired seven companies over the past six months that are all related to robotics in one way or another. But as with others looking into robotics or unmanned vehicles, it won’t happen overnight.

Rubin noted that like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor. He said Google needed enough runway and a 10-year vision to make it happen. Breakthroughs in software and sensors will still be necessary, but the mechanics and the hardware has already been resolved.

The Android founder may be just the person to pull it off, too, as he has a passion for building “intelligent” machines. He began his engineering career in robotics and worked for German manufacturing company Carl Zeiss as a robotics engineer before joining Apple Computer in the '90s. He has a history of making his hobbies into a career which, as he describes it, is the world’s greatest job.




User Comments: 6

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Chuck Cortes Chuck Cortes said:

Great, now everyone's gonna think Google will use robots to rule us all. LOL.

insect said:

Great, now everyone's gonna think Google will use robots to rule us all. LOL.

Only a matter of time my humble opinion. Computers can already process data faster than a human brain. As soon as they start coming up with new ideas faster than humans can we will work for them. I think artificial intelligence is not going to happen in my lifetime though.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Great, now everyone's gonna think Google will use robots to rule us all. LOL.

Only a matter of time my humble opinion. Computers can already process data faster than a human brain. As soon as they start coming up with new ideas faster than humans can we will work for them. I think artificial intelligence is not going to happen in my lifetime though.

According to the geniuses they put on Through the Wormhole, until computers can feel emotion they won't be conscience of themselves. I think we're safe for a while.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Google?s bots could be put to work in manufacturing lines, assist with online retail, replace some of the monotonous work necessary when building electronic devices or even like Amazon and UPS, deliver packages.

Ok, so humanoid robots in manufacturing lines, online retail and ... manufacturing lines for electronics. So, basically places we already have robots, but he's going to give them faces? Maybe he should start with a robot that understands which menu option you want when you call customer service. "Just say 'Billing' for billing, or 'check my minutes' to check your minutes." whatever you say it's followed by "I'm sorry, I didn't get that, could you please repeat it?"

Sounds like he's getting paid for playing around. We should all be so lucky.

tonylukac said:

Glad he's not building botnets. I bet some fortune 500 companies do.

DDRAMbo said:

Isn't it wonderful to see another engineering type make a significant income for a brief period as he helps design devices that benefit the affluent and take away jobs for many years to come? Not! This dweeb is just another tech junky that is willing to scrap the benefits of technology for all of us to build robots that will most likely benefit the few to the exclusion of the many. I personally hope that future generations of his kin wind up in poverty.

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