Google is looking like it is more serious about its robot research. The New York Times is now reporting that the company has acquired Boston Dynamics, the makers of some truly impressive, but still scary, four legged automatons that have become YouTube hits.
This new report follows on the heels of news that Google's former Android leader Andy Rubin is now leading a team focused on robots at the company. Google would not reveal how much it spend to buy Boston Dynamics, saying only that the deal will help to furthur their own research into robots.
Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics has made a number of experimental robots for both commercial and military contractors, including the Defense Department under their top secret Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. They include creations like "BigDog", a four legged robot that was made to move through different types of terrain and conditions, including ice and snow.
Most recently, Boston Dynamics uploaded a YouTube video showing off "WildCat", a smaller version of "BigDog" that moves much faster. "WildCat" can run up to 16 MPH on flat terrain compared to just 5 MPH with "BigDog". Let's hope that Google team members are aware of movies like "The Terminator" and "I Robot" and keep these scary machines on a very short leash.
Source: The New York Times