Google buys major military robotics maker

2D10147787-131216-ATLAS-JSW-239P.blocks_desktop_largeBy Nidhi Subbaraman

Google is on a robot shopping spree, and its recent purchase of a military robot maker has some wondering what exactly the company intends to do with its own zoo of electronic creatures that creep, crawl, and climb.

It may seem odd for the Internet search giant to purchase a Boston Dynamics, a company that makes rugged machines that can run up to 29 mph, traverse rocky terrain and hurl cinder blocks up to 17 feet. The company is the eighth robot maker Google has snatched up. But the deals also indicate that the Internet giant and pioneer of self-driving cars is serious about a robot-filled future.

Other Internet-based companies are tapping into the consumer trend as well. Last year, Amazon bought Kiva Systems, to move packages in their warehouses. Earlier this month, in an announcement that raised eyebrows, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that flying delivery drones would deliver packages within five years. Meanwhile, experts and researchers anticipate that with our booming population, people may come to increasingly rely on assistive robots for elderly care.

So far, Google isn’t sharing much about the purchases augmenting it’s newly-launched robotics division. “It is still very early days for this, but I can’t wait to see the progress,” Larry Page wrote in a Google+ post, when the New York Times revealed news of the robotics operation.

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