• 04.25.16

Google X chief: Most Moonshots are robots

Astro Teller, chief of X (formerly Google X) says that much of what the so-called “Moonshots” division of the company is working on could be considered robots.

In an interview NBC Nightly News will air Wednesday, Teller also asserted that the skunkworks formerly known as Google X isn’t just working on robots just to work on robots. Rather, he said, it’s because the secret lab sees such work as helping to solve big problems.

Among the efforts in that category are the company’s self-driving car, Project Loon, Makani, and Project Wing.

“Our self-driving cars are robots,” Teller told NBC reporter Lester Holt, according to a release from the TV network. “Our airborne wind turbines (Makani) are robots. Our stratospheric balloons for bringing internet to people around the world (Project Loon), they’re actually robots. Our self-flying vehicles for package delivery (Project Wing) are robots. So you’re asking what we would do with robots in the future? I want to find problems to solve in the world. We all, at X, want to find problems we can solve in the world. And then, if we can use some of the tools and techniques from robotics to solve those problems, fantastic. But we’re not going to work on robots for their own sake. We’re going to work on solving problems.”

X is one of parent company Alphabet’s “other bets.” But while these initiatives get tons of press, they make up just the tiniest fraction of Alphabet’s revenues. In the most recent quarter, the company said last week, core Google services accounted for 99.18% of total revenues. DT