Google search and destroy: The internet giant (motto: ‘Don’t be evil’) has bought a pioneer of scary robot animals. Can its ethics survive?
Monday 16 December 2013
Big Dog is capable of many things of interest to its new owners at Google. What remains to be seen is whether the quadruped robot’s ability to pick up a breeze block and hurl it across a warehouse with impressive dexterity and speed is among them.
The computer search giant has completed the purchase of Boston Dynamics, the maker of a cutting-edge menagerie of walking and crawling robots including Big Dog, which counts America’s Department of Defense (DoD) among its major sources of income.
The robotics firm is the eighth company in the same field to be snapped up by Google in the last six months under a project headed by Andy Rubin, the executive responsible for turning Android into the world’s most widely used smartphone software and whose first love is robots. Mr Rubin, an engineer by training, last week used Twitter to declare that “The future is looking awesome!”.