Developments to watch: Google gallops into robotics

Google expansion in robotics closes the control loop, bringing integrated sensing and actuation to the logic based in Google algorithms and other Google-owned businesses.


Google acquisitions include robotics companies, according to Wikipedia’s Jan. 31, 2014, list of mergers and acquisitions by Google; an excerpt is shown. Courtesy: Wikipedia, has purchased eight physical robotic companies (as opposed to software “bots”), according to various sources. The New York Times said in a Dec. 4, 2013, article that Andy Rubin, who built Android software for smartphones, is the engineer leading Google’s robotics efforts. Before Google’s self-driving car (essentially a robot), use of the word “robot” within Google generally referred to its crawler algorithms, software code that was anthropomorphized into the term “robot” presumably because the software traverses the Internet, doing analysis. With the purchase of eight robotics firms (perhaps most interesting, Boston Dynamics, with galloping, leaping, and crawling robots), Google advances in controlling the physical world, beyond software. After Internet-related software, facial and gesture recognition software, neural networks, mobile software, and Google Glass (glasses that contain a computer and Internet connection), Google continues to close the control loop with robotics. See related links below.

National Instruments (NI) demonstrated Google Glass, a prototype wearable computer (arguably a hands-free human-machine interface), at its NIWeek 2013 conference and exhibition. Courtesy: CFE Media, Mark T. Hoske- Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,


Boston Dynamics has interesting video clips of mobile robotics under its robots pulldown menu.

The reported list of Google acquisitions is long.

The New York Times discusses Google robotics efforts.

Control Engineering robotics page.

Anonymous , 02/19/14 09:48 AM:

Maybe it's not Skynet we should be worrying about ;-)
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security