Care for erderly and service in home. Is that way Google acquiered eight robotic companies in 2013?
Sixteen teams from around the world came together at Florida’s Homestead Miami Speedway, December 20-21, 2013 to participate in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge Trials. Two of the robot companies acquired by Google, Boston Dynamics from US and Schaft from Japan, dominated the contest showing advanced skills in rescue service.
The video below shows Robot Atlas at the DARPA contest. Atlas is developed by Boston Dynamics, one of the eight firms acquired by Google.
Fighting in the war zones and rescuing people from disasters will not be the big market for these robots, says Gill Pratt, DARPA program manager, to MIT Technology Review.
“Most people don’t realize that the military market is quite small compared to the commercial market. And the disaster marketplace is even smaller than that. My feeling is that where these robots are really going to find their sweet spot is care for folks at the home—whether that’s for an aging population or other uses in the home.”
So what´s Google up to? Taking the artificial intelligence back home? That we really don´t know yet. But on the robot company Meka´s webpage we can read: “We have been acquired by Google and are busy building the robot revolution. Please come again.” The same quote can be read on the webpages of two other acquired robotics companies; Redwood and Holomni.
A robot revolution it is. And Google is taking lead.