Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues to show interest in robotics companies, this time by investing in Savioke, which is planning customer trials of a robot designed for the service industry. In the last year, Google has already bought out eight other robotics companies.
According to the BBC, Savioke announced that investors have given it $2 million in seed financing. That includes money not only from Google Ventures, but also other investors. The company did not say exactly how much of the $2 million came from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
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What Savioke does
Savioke has only been since last year. Steve Cousins, the company’s CEO has plenty of previous experience in the robotics sector, however. He is credited with launching the PR2 robot, which is aimed at software developers who want to try out their code on real robots. Now Cousins said they want to make robots widely available within the service industry.
He declined to say exactly what they are doing right now, but they see the service industry as being an untapped place which is ripe for robots. The CEO did note that some hospitals have robots which are basically just extensions of surgeons. However, he said they want to create something more like a traditional robot—an autonomous entity which can do things on its own and “help people out.” According to Savioke’s website, they see the potential for their robots to be used in hospitals, elderly care facilities, restaurants and hotels.
Why Google’s investment is key
Cousins stressed that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is one of their investors. The search giant’s venture capital arm did invest in Nest, the smart thermostat maker it bought last year, before acquiring the company. Cousins did not say that they wouldn’t take the same road if it is offered.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) first became interested in robots, and it didn’t take long for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to follow. Because of the interest from both companies, experts say there is increasing interest in robotics among venture capitalists. One of the concerns they have had is what would happen to robotics companies if they don’t go public. Now that both Amazon and Google have shown interest in the sector, it seems likely that either company may be interested in making more acquisitions within the space.