December 18, 2013

Google acquires Massachusetts robotics firm

Google may be best known for its online search business, but it is no secret that it has other, more far-reaching ambitions. As it turns out, the company that was responsible for the Android mobile operating system is now quite interested in developing real robots. 

According to a recent article on the Huffington Post, Google has confirmed that it will be buying Boston Dynamics, an engineering company based in Waltham, Massachusetts that has done work designing robots for the U.S. government.

Founded in the 1990's, Boston Dynamics has achieved some fame in recent years for its work with robots that resemble animals. For example, the company's BigDog has legs that can walk on difficult terrain, while the WildCat is designed for any sort of environment. Many videos of these devices have been put on YouTube, further increasing their popularity.

Google, for its part, is interested in creating a division that will build and experiment with robots that will eventually be used by companies to streamline manufacturing. 

It is unclear how much Google will pay for Boston Dynamics. There are also issues that must be resolved related to Boston Dynamics' military contracts. Though it claims that it will honor these agreements, Google has added that it is not interested in becoming a military contractor on its own.

Nonetheless, an investment from Google could be just what Boston Dynamics needs to continue its groundbreaking work. These sorts of deals are crucial in the tech world, and can be put together much more smoothly with help from a mergers and acquisition firm.