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.