Google sets out robot army assembly plans

Search giant has acquired several robotics specialists to deliver on its tech vision.

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Google is on a ten-year mission to build robots that will automate the manufacturing stages of product design.

According to a New York Times report, the search company has been on a spree of buying robotics companies over the last six months to produce the next generation of robots. The person reportedly heading up the project is ex-Android chief Andy Rubin. 

The robots are set to be used to automate and speed up the process of making products. Furthermore, the firm is taking steps to build robots that will travel in Google's automated car and deliver goods to the door. Google believes these are areas where there is room for improvement in the way tasks are carried out.

Rubin has convinced Google's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, to back the venture.

The firm has acquired a tranche of companies in the US and Japan, including Schaft, which builds humanoid robots, and start-up Industrial Perception. This company develops robotic vision and arms for loading and unloading vehicles. It has also snapped up Meka and Redwood Robotics, two companies that build robots and robotic arms and Bot & Dolly, which produces robot camera systems.

Two other firms, Autofuss and Holomni, have also been ushered into the Google stable to provide design expertise.

It is hoped this will lead to the creation of a mobile, agile robot, according to the report.

The project to build a robot may take around ten years to come to fruition, but Rubin said the technology is mature enough and the opportunities were there to improve manufacturing and logistics using robots.

"I feel with robotics it's a green field," Rubin told the publication. "We're building hardware, we're building software. We're building systems, so one team will be able to understand the whole stack."

Earlier this week, retail giant Amazon outlined its vision to use unmanned drones to deliver products to customers within the next half a decade.

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