Automatons are on their way to reality. Well, Andy Rubin is all set to head the nascent robotics department of Google. If rumors are to be believed, automation is going to be the next level of human existence. Many sci-fi minded bloggers have started to stretch their ideas of an automated world where the delivery of packages will be done by none other than a small robot, traveling in a self-driven car of Google Inc. To receive the package, you simply have to touch the Android Phone to the tracking device of the robot. If the data matches, the delivery is done by the small robot to the destination. Yes, it is too early to predict this kind of idea and may seem like a sci-fi movie scene but the idea seems achievable.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Andy Rubin revealed that Google has picked up many robotics laboratories and he is heading the newly born Google’s robotics department. Here, it has been revealed that the idea of this robotics project is not to achieve the unimaginable. There is no intention to just try and achieve what is imaginable. This project will try to achieve something futuristic that we all craved for to make our lives a better place. This department will keep no stone unturned to make the idea of futuristic robotics a reality.
‘Times’ reports that there are many projects initiated by Google, that range from ambitious to practical. This new robotics project is not the first time that Google has tried to achieve. We already know about the projects such as Google Glass, the self-driving car, Project Loon (which is aimed at floating routers with the help of giant balloons for making internet accessible to underserved areas), and others. When the Google Glass project was launched, it was perceived to be ambitious. However, in 2014, it is already a product and all set to be formally launched as a product in the year 2014. Crux of the matter is – What looked moon shot yesterday, is now a reality in 2014. The robotics project may seem ‘moon shot’ to many, but the chances of its being a reality is within reach.
In his Google+ page, CEO of Google, Larry Page declared that he is quite excited about the next robotics project of Andy Rubin. Larry also said that Andy’s last successful project was Android. When he mooted the idea, everyone thought it to be a gimmick, outrageous, and crazy. Today it is a reality. You will now find the supercomputer in hundreds of millions of smartphones and movable gadgets. Larry Page is upbeat about this project and wants to see success out of this project. Though robotics of this kind is in its initial phase, Larry has expressed his willingness to see progress in this. As Rubin is not that social media savvy and doesn’t express through social media frequently, he didn’t make any further comment or clarification.
It is still not absolutely clear what Google is really up to with this robotics project. In fact, two new developments are significant. The company has bought two entities – Schaft and Industrial Perception. Schaft, on one hand, is a small team of Japanese robotics who left Toyo University recently for developing humanoid robots. Industrial Perception, on the other hand, is a start-up that has successfully developed robot arms and computer vision systems to load and unload trucks.
In 2012, there had been a considerable decline in sales of robots; around 4%. At the end of 2012, the sales was 1,59,346 units. This is because of the decrease in sales of robots to the electrical and electronics industries. However, International Federation of Robotics (IFR) expects the robot sales to shoot up during 2014-16, by around 6%. However, the sales is expected to reach 1,90,000 units every year from 2014 to 2016.
There are two kinds of speculation going on right now regarding the purpose of setting up robotics department:
1. The first idea is regarding use of robotics for improving factory floor work efforts, by substituting teams of skilled workers.
2. The second idea revolves around speculative drone delivery fantasy, as many say this, of Amazon. In San Jose and San Fransisco, Google has launched Google Shopping Express. Robotics development is expected to enhance the shopping and delivery efficiency and mechanism.
Many also think that Google mapping the sidewalks will be the next venture after Google maps the roads. In that case, the automated cars will not serve the purpose. This is where Google’s robotic minions can do wonders by exploring the sidewalks.