With all the fanfare about Amazon’s plan for robotic delivery drones, tech giant — and Amazon rival — Google has been quietly amassing a lot of robotic expertise.
According to an article in the New York Times, Google has acquired seven technology companies with prowess in various aspects of robotics.
Adding to the speculation that Google is dead serious about robotics, the company has put Andy Rubin in charge of the effort. He was in charge of Google’s popular Android operating system.
While Google has been coy about the type of robots it’s looking to develop, one possibility would be something that could deliver goods to consumers’ doors, like Amazon’s drones. Instead of through the air, however, Google would make the deliveries via self-driving cars, something the company has already been working on.
Google has already begun to experiment with a grocery delivery service in the Bay Area of California called Google Shopping Express.
The Times reports that Google’s robotics team will be headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with an office in Japan, one of the leading countries in the field.
Rubin told the Times the company had a “10-year vision” to deliver on its robotics vision.
“I feel with robotics it’s a green field,” he said. “We’re building hardware, we’re building software. We’re building systems, so one team will be able to understand the whole stack.”