Monday, December 16, 2013



Atlas of the robot Boston Dynamics (Boston Dynamics)
The U.S. web giant Google confirmed to the "New York Times" , Friday, December 13 , the acquisition of the firm Boston Dynamics , a start- up specializing in robotics. This acquisition, the amount of which remains unknown, is the eighth conducted by Google in less than a year. The American ogre does not seem to stop there and his sudden passion for robots surprised . A simple fad or a well thought out strategy?

Andy Rubin , the man - Google Android

The man behind such purchases is Andy Rubin , the engineer who created the system for mobile Google Android. The fiftieth anniversary began his career in robotics before joining Apple Computer and the German company Carl Zeiss as an engineer specializing in robots. Historically, Andy Rubin does not hide his passion for the design of intelligent machines . " I used to make my hobby a career ," he says in "New York Times" .

Andy Rubin explains that reflects over 10 years the opportunity to invest in robotics. According to him, the technologies are mature to the point that automated systems could soon be sold in large quantities.

Andy Rubin decided to resign from his position as director of the smartphone division of Google. One stone , two birds , he convinced Sergey Brin and Larry Page , the founders of the American giant , the time has come for the Mountain View company to venture into robotics and heat the credit card.

WildCat and the country BigDog Google

Since then, Google, via Andy Rubin, has acquired eight secret American and Japanese start- up specialized in the field :

Schaft , the start- up of a Japanese engineers who have recently left the University of Tokyo to develop a humanoid robot team.
Industrial Perception, a company that developed sensors and robotic arms for loading and unloading trucks.
Meka , a manufacturer of humanoid robots.
Redwood Robotics , a San Francisco company that develops robot arm .
Bot & Dolly that manufactures robotic cameras that were used to create special effects in the film "Gravity" .
Google also bought Autofuss specialized in advertising and design and Holomni , a start -up that designs high-tech wheels

And finally, Boston Dynamics

Founded in 1992 by Marc Raibert , a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (the famous MIT ), Boston Dynamics has never sold robots throughout its existence. The company works primarily with the Pentagon and the Agency for advanced research projects for the Defense (DARPA ) . The start-up has also been a consultant for Sony in the development of robots for the general public, as the robot dog Aibo .

The company, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, has gained an international reputation through these machines that work with an amazing sense of balance and run faster than humans.

The last dated robot named WildCat , is capable of running up to 29 km / h. The android fours will therefore faster Usain Bolt. A video posted on YouTube last October has been viewed over 15 million times.

BigDog , one of the first creations , is a robot dog form, with four legs and has a motor. In a video posted in March 2008 and also seen over 15 million times on YouTube, the robot climbs a hill loudly , moves through the snow , ran dangerously on the ice and even manages to remain standing after the coup foot of a human being .

The development of BigDog was conducted in 2003 in partnership with Foster- Miller, a British robot manufacturer , the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA and Harvard.

Andy Rubin said that the company will continue to work with the Pentagon but will not be a military subcontractor.

Google , the future leader of the robots

With the acquisition of these companies in such a short time , Google gives the impression to make a 180 degree turn . The move surprised but not settled by logic. " Robots , like smartphones , are platforms of products and services ," said Anthony Mullen , senior analyst at Forrester, the " Nouvel Observateur " . " Both require data and information in order to function well. And Google handles very well the data and algorithms. "

" The work of Google on visual artificial intelligence , audio and text recognition can be a tremendous help to create smart , flexible robots," Anthony Mullen analysis which estimates it will take five years to see robots Google on the market. "What do they look like ? Private I imagine that they will create humanoid robots. But in public, they will venture first in industry and logistics. " Moreover, the analyst believes that Google has everything to become a market leader in robotics.

Google robot department has nothing to do with the Google X Lab, managed by Sergey Brin and develops Google Glass , glasses connected , and the draft driverless car . Robotics division is independent of Google and its objectives are a little more realistic than the futuristic laboratory firm in Mountain View.

Andy Rubin confirms the "New York Times" that the goal is to create marketable robots as soon as possible . He also started hiring roboticists and computer scientists. He stated that the strategy robotics division of Google is targeting manufacturers and logistics chains , such as package delivery . A choice that would compete directly with Amazon for example and project delivery by drones.

Anthony Mullen discusses his side another lucrative market : the army. "Google will surely seek to work with the military. A choice that will be controversial . " And swear with the internal mantra of the American giant : " Do not be evil ." "Do not be evil ."