Google Buys BigDog Robot Maker Boston Dynamics

It's the eighth robotics company Google has acquired in the past year.

Google has acquired Boston Dynamics, the MIT spin-off research company behind some of the world's most advanced robots and androids, for an undisclosed amount.

Remember Atlas, the terrifying/astonishing humanoid robot being developed as part of a big DARPA research project? That's a Boston Dynamics machine--part solider of the future, part utility droid that could find use in post-disaster scenarios.

And then there's Alpha Dog, a quadruped utility robot developed to be a load-carrying aid to soldiers on near-future battlefields.

Then there's WildCat, a project looking into how fast a quadruped robot could move by emulating some of the racing dynamics of the real-life cheetah.

They are all Boston Dynamics machines.

The Waltham, Mass. robot maker is under contracts with DARPA for millions of dollars, which Google says it will honor--though the company claims to have no intention of taking on future military contracts.

Joking about last month's slightly unbelievable news concerning Amazon's drone delivery program, Andy Rubin--who helped create the Android operating system and now leads Google's robots division--teased that he'd rather see a Google android hop out of an automated car to hand-deliver packages to customers. Now we know what he meant.

[Image: Boston Dynamics]

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