Shalom Life | April 10, 2014

Google Robots Look to Conquer Amazon Drones

The creator of Android, Andy Rubin, has announced that he will spearhead Google's latest visionary initiative: human androids

By: Zak Edwards

Published: December 4th, 2013 in Business » World

How’s this for a brain teaser? Can Google make an android smart enough to work an Android phone?

The answer, it seems, is closer than we thought. Just a few days after Amazon announced their prototype delivery drones, Android developer Andy Rubin spoke to The New York Times about Google’s plans to make androids a reality.

If anyone can do it, though, it's Google; considering that one of their most recent initiatives is to find a cure for death, developing androids seems like a walk in the park.

No word yet on whether or not they will dream of electric sheep though.

Over the past six months, Google has acquired over half a dozen companies it believes can make androids a reality, including Schaft, Redwood Robotics, Industrial Perception, and Bot & Dolly (whose robots helped film Gravity). One of the companies they purchased develops robot arms designed to package goods, another employs Japanese engineers who are currently looking to develop humanoid robots.

Rubin declined to say just how much money Google put forward, but acquiring seven companies makes the bill pretty substantial already.

While some are calling the project a ‘moonshot,’ the android project has a shorter timeframe attached to it, and is already further along than we may expect. Rubin admits that “breakthroughs would still be necessary in areas like software and sensors, but said that hardware issues like mobility and moving hands and arms had been resolved.”

But don’t expect a robo-butler just yet; Google is reportedly first focusing on manufacturing a plausible place for androids to work. “A realistic case, according to several specialists, would be automating portions of an existing supply chain that stretches from a factory floor to the companies that ship and deliver goods to a consumer’s doorstep,” reports The New York Times.

Delivery androids, to compete with Amazon’s potential drone delivery system, may also be another place where these ‘bots could be seen. But, if we’re all being honest, I think even the smartest android will have trouble making heads or tails of the TTC, further “illogical navigational systems” may be required.
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