Google just acquired Boston Dynamics, the company behind the (terrifying) BigDog rough-terrain robot and Cheetah, a four-legged robot that can run faster than Usain Bolt. Boston Dynamics contracts for the US military, and it’s the eighth robotics company assimilated by Google this year. How the company fits into Google’s future plans is still unclear, but it will certainly put some serious pieces of machinery at the tech giant’s disposal.
In a statement posted on Google Plus, Chief Executive Larry Page said: “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.”
Details about the price and terms of the deal are still unclear, but Google did tell the NYT that existing contracts — including a $10.8 million contract inked earlier this year with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — would be honored. According to the Times, Google also says it doesn’t plan to become a military contractor “on its own.”
Boston Dynamics was originally founded in 1992 by a former professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It does not sell to the commercial sector – it mostly develops mobile and off-road robots which are funded by DARPA, but it has been known to consult for other companies such as Sony on less “aggressive” projects.
Images by Boston Dynamics