AI News, Google Robots! Former Android chief will lead Google robotics division

Google Robots! Former Android chief will lead Google robotics division

Andy Rubin has twice changed the mobile phone landscape—first as co-founder of Danger, Inc., the company that created the T-Mobile Sidekick in 2002, and later as the founder of Android, the world's most widely used smartphone OS. Earlier this year, when Rubin suddenly stepped down from his position as leader of Google's Android division, all that was said about his future was that he would 'start a new chapter at Google.'

(Examples include electronics assembly and warehouse robots.) Despite Rubin calling the project a 'moonshot' and saying that Google needs a '10 -year vision,' The Times claims Rubin's new division is not part of Google X and is meant to get a product to market sooner than later.

Since mobile devices have many components a robot needs—think cameras, microphones, speakers, screens, Wi-Fi, mobile data, and GPS—a cheap, easy way to build a robot is to just put wheels on a mobile device.

The Google cars are just huge robots that are good at navigating the public roadways, and the lessons learned there could easily be applied to smaller indoor robots. With Rubin at the helm, it looks like Google's robotics hobby is going to turn into a full-fledged business.

Android founder Andy Rubin's secret Google project: building real robots

When Android founder Andy Rubin stepped away from the mobile operating system he helped create, rumors suggested he would pursue his lifelong love of real robots instead.

It's not clear what kind of robots the group will build, but several of the companies involved previously built humanoid robots and robotic arms, and it seems like Rubin is suggesting that Google's creation might be able to move, reach, and grab things like a person.

According to 'several people with specific knowledge of the project,' the robots will likely be used in manufacturing rather than sold to consumers, and might specifically be used in electronics assembly — which could fit well with the tech industry's recent push for Made in the USA products.

However, robotics remained a hobby, with Rubin both building his own and amassing a collection of robots from Japan. The Android operating system's name was no accident: Rubin's coworkers at Apple started calling him 'Android' because of his love of robots, and he adopted the name for his own purposes years later.

Andy Rubin

In November 2017, he took a leave of absence from Essential Products after reports of an inappropriate relationship from his time at Google surfaced.[15][16] In December 2017, he returned to Essential Products.[17] Playground Global is a tech incubator that provides resources, mentorship and funding to startups making hardware devices, specifically to help make advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI).[2][1] Rubin founded the company in 2015 along with Peter Barrett, Matt Hershenson and Bruce Leak.[18] Playground Global has raised a $300 million fund from investors including Google, HP, Foxconn, Redpoint Ventures, Seagate Technology and Tencent, among others.[2][1] It has invested in several companies, including Owl Labs.[19] Rubin, born in 1963, grew up in Chappaqua, New York, the son of a psychologist who later founded his own direct-marketing firm.

Android co-founder Rubin leaving Google to lead startup incubator

Andy Rubin, who founded Google's Android mobile software, and less than a year ago was tapped to run the company's nascent robotics efforts, is leaving the Internet giant.

The departure is potentially a blow to the company's ambitions in robotics, where Google has made large investments, including the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, Atlas and at least a half dozen other companies.

Page has made big bets in areas beyond its search and advertising business -- its biggest moneymaker -- as it looks for new sources of revenue.

In 2010, Google research scientist Kuffner came up with the idea of cloud robotics, robots that leverage the Internet, crowdsourcing, and open-sourcing to expand their processing power and knowledge base.

It's not hard to see how a cloud-connected robot that is gathering data in your home from all its various sensors could be a perambulating privacy violation waiting to happen.