Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues its robotics company buying spree, snapping up Massachusetts-based mobile robot specialists Boston Dynamics. The purchase was announced on Sunday, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Privately held Boston Dynamics was founded by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Marc Raibert in 1992. The company specializes in developing mobile and off-road robotics technology, with the large majority of its income coming from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Google robotics company acquisition spree
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been snapping up small robotics enterprises at a rapid pace. Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics company Google has bought in 2013.
Other robotics concerns bought up by Google this year include Schaft, a group of Japanese roboticists who departed from Tokyo University to develop a humanoid robot, and Industrial Perception, a start-up researching and building computer vision systems and robot arms. San Francisco-based Meka and Redwood Robotics, makers of humanoid robots and robot arms, Bot & Dolly, who develop robotic camera systems, Autofuss, a small advertising and design concern, and Holomni, a design company focusing on high-tech wheels, were also snapped up earlier this year.
Andy Rubin leading Google robotics project
The man who led the highly successful Android operating system development project, Andy Rubin, is also leading Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s secretive new robotics development project.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chief Executive Larry Page commented on the purchase in a post on Google Plus. “I am excited about Andy Rubin’s next project. His last big bet, Android, started off as a crazy idea that ended up putting a supercomputer in hundreds of millions of pockets. It is still very early days for this, but I can’t wait to see the progress.”
Boston Dynamics main client is DARPA
Unlike Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) and most other robot developers and manufacturers, Boston Dynamics does not develop robots for consumer or industrial applications. Their main client is DARPA, and almost all of their development projects are related to creating prototypes of mobile robots based on various different means of movement. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced that it intends to honor all existing military contracts with DARPA.
Boston Dynamics also works on a consulting basis with Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and several other robotics concerns.