back to article Google unveils ten-year plan to build its ROBOT ARMY of the future

Android's original boss Andy Rubin has been very quiet since stepping down in March, but has now revealed that he has been spending his time buying up robotics firms as part of a ten-year push into the industry sector by Google. "Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor," Rubin told The New York Times. "We need …


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  1. Don Jefe

    They're not telling me anything here. Are they building something I need to defend against or what? I've read the books and I've seen the movies. I'm on to this Google and their plans.

    But seriously, this sounds like more like some rich guys giving their buddy a sweet job. I honestly wonder what advantage Google sees in all this. When you get into industrial robots that's an insanely crowded and extremely well understood field. I'm genuinely curious as to what Google thinks they're on to.

    On the upside, this will be good for the robot industry as a whole. I know quite a few people in the robot business and they're either turning out really boring assembly line robots or they're so far out there nobody can figure our what to do with the robots. The common element between them is that there isn't much money in the robots themselves, everyone is always scrambling to keep the doors open. With a high profile company like Google involved it will hopefully raise awareness for the entire industry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I honestly think that robotics, and in particular, robotics in the field of "doing all those shit jobs that we don't want to do, but are still hard for robots" are going to be a big field in the future.

      This market is going to be enormous and the Japanese realise this, even if it is also "cool".

      This guy with Google realise this and the have the wonga to get into it. I feel that now is a good time to getting into this field.

    2. LarsG



      Marvin the paranoid Android perhaps?

      "Here I am, brain the size of a planet....."

    3. Dave 126

      >I honestly wonder what advantage Google sees in all this

      Nobody does - it's called speculation.

      There might be dozens of areas of investigation, of which a few will bear fruit. So, you put millions in to each... if just one is successful, you will reap a multi-billion dollar reward.

      If you're curious about the value of robots, ask yourself why Japan, with an ageing population, have been amongst the pioneers.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        >>I honestly wonder what advantage Google sees in all this

        >Nobody does - it's called speculation


        You don't think Google could make use of a device that can actively follow you around all day making note of your movements and buying preferences?

        GOK what they might do with that data.

        I can't imagine, for example, wandering into a café and my "plastic pal who's fun to be with" telling me that it's talked to the servers of all of the other eating places within 100m and that I have a voucher I can use two doors down. Then again, maybe I can imagine this.

        Share and enjoy!

  2. Erik4872

    Hastening French Revolution 2.0, I see

    Everyone talks about all the great stuff robots will free everyone from, like having to work at boring, monotonous jobs. One of the things I'm worried about is the shift in society that would happen if, all of a sudden, all the manual labor in the world became unemployed while all the "knowledge workers" kept their jobs and actually benefited more with all the extra robot productivity.

    There's two paths - a Star Trek universe where everyone does what they're good at and there's zero scarcity, and a messy revolution when the majority of society gets pissed off at being broke and unemployed.

    I don't expect it to be a nice transition -- but we'll see in 10 years I guess :-)

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Hastening French Revolution 2.0, I see

      >>There's two paths - a Star Trek universe where everyone does what they're good at and there's zero scarcity, and a messy revolution when the majority of society gets pissed off at being broke and unemployed.

      3)All the manual labourers get paid to not work by the government. We could call it Just Sit Around payments or JSA for short. Housing would be paid for and free entertainment would be provided to fill their time in the form of satellite TV.

      Of course you'd have fraudulent claims where smart people claim they are only stupid enough to do automated jobs, when they could earn a living as doctor, but the government would surely clamp down on such things.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hastening French Revolution 2.0, I see

        Of course the ideal is that if all the jobs that no-one wants to do are being done by machines, then we instantly don't need jobs or money. Robots doing all the non-interesting stuff is the fast path to a post-scarcity society.

        Question is, as a race would we be able to live in that kind of society?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hastening French Revolution 2.0, I see

          And those are the questions that some writers have tried to address. Is food, shelter, beers and passive entertainment enough to make me happy?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hastening French Revolution 2.0, I see

    3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Hastening French Revolution 2.0, I see

      It should lead to the introduction of a universal basic income - the Swiss are due to have a vote on it soon, and it would lead to large savings in admin costs as everyone would be eligible.


      Alternatively, wealth is concentrated to the 0.001% who own the robots, and everyone else gets put in camps or worse.


  3. Metrognome

    Rubin's Robots

    So they will need all sorts of invasive and unnecessary permissions, escape their sandbox environment and when the proverbial hits the fan we'll be left with Google's (in)famous product support forum.

    Count me in; where do I sign?... (not)

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: Rubin's Robots

      Plus the singing / dancing routine every couple of minutes as they deliver an advert - that could be fun for scaring pets and small children. Of course we all know where this is heading and I for one will be lining up to buy shares in the Sailor Moon robot company though I would not necessarily want to work in tech support for same.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rubin's Robots

        > Plus the singing / dancing routine every couple of minutes as they deliver an advert

        Hah, that's a scary prospect :D

        So you want you bathroom washed out or your garbage collected? Just watch this 2 minute advert before I perform this menial function...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happens when someone high up in Google realises that, rather than building actual robots, it'd be cheaper just to buy in contract staff from overseas and suck their brains out.

  5. Mike Moyle

    Rubin's Universal Robots

    @ Don Jefe

    "I'm genuinely curious as to what Google thinks they're on to."

    Chairs with automated headrests that always orient your eyes towards the ads.

    On the plus side, if it's not a X project then it means that they probably won't turn it off once a bunch of people depend on it just because they got bored with it (vis: Latitude).

  6. poopypants

    This cannot end well

    I am reminded of "FISTO" from Fallout New Vegas.

  7. Slawek

    I am impressed. Google is going into right direction.

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Google Bread better Servered with and to this Phish Dish? :-)

    Spending fiat money is never a waste of paper exercise resources for it is the flow and exchange and mixing of dumb currency which delivers real virtual power to its remote controllers/lavish spenders …. but some things are much better invested in and would offer considerably quicker and smarter overwhelming leading advantage and absolutely fabulous returns to Great Search Engine Gaming Players, without the need of the involvement of complicated mechanical machinery, no matter how cleverly programmed they be to behave as intended by humans.

    Programming humans to perform better as virtual machines in beta future new orderly worldscapes, and in so doing provide them with wholly new and improved and improving securely protected existences, is a seriously more simple and complex advanced use of Applied Intelligence today for/from Global Operating Devices.

    But that is what C42 Quantum Communication Control Systems and AI@ITsWork are all about, and now you all know and are free to share it with whomever/whatever you would choose.

    Have a nice day, y’all.

    Oh, and whenever one is doing strange and disruptive and/or weird and wonderful things and would be fully at ease with their selfless global sharing, it must surely be something of an enigmatic dilemma for the likes of those lurking behind the scenes and smoke and mirror screens and being identified in this spooky document/tale/narrative trail …… Full Disclosure,The Internet Dark Age by The Adversaries …… to be able to plausibly deny any knowledge of everything and anything of concern to justify their actions and/or inactions.

    Knowledge is Powerful Information. Intelligence Controls with IT. Applied Intelligence Controls Powerful Knowledge with/in/within Beta ProgramMING Projects.

    “The computer will touch men everywhere and in every way, almost on a minute-to-minute basis,” he [Willis H Ware] wrote in 1966. “Every man will communicate through a computer, whatever he does. It will change and reshape his life, modify his career and force him to accept a life of continuous change.” ….. ZeroThought for the Day :-)

  9. NB

    Skynet in 3... 2... 1...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really? No one? Ok...

    I for one welcome our robot overlords...


  11. RyokuMas

    So Google are going into robotics?

    No doubt within a week of their first commercial robot launch, you'll get a bunch of freetards complaining about all the "bloatware" systems, and how you have to install some unofficial mod in order to sideload behavioural apps that bypass the three laws of robotics...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what the hell is he driving these days?

    >>> Rubin said he was initially thinking about smaller, intelligent systems that could be integrated into existing products, like windscreen wipers that detect rain and fire themselves up. <<<

    I really hope he hasn't spent the Google boys' money buying 7 robotics companies for this. What's he planning next? Headlights that come on when it gets dark and gearboxes that shift gears by themselves?

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: what the hell is he driving these days?

      His team only need to hit on a few new ways of doing something that's already being done but the Google Way is better, faster, more efficient, cheaper etc... and there's a large market to sell into.

      If they hit on new ideas and new solutions that enable GoogleBot3000* to do stuff that can't currently be done then they will create their own market. That's print-your-own-money territory.

      Having an HQ in Japan is a very good decision.

      *No I'm not suggesting they'll only build one model I'm just being flippant for brevity. A classic technique taught in all the best schools, I'm sure.

  13. Faye B
    Paris Hilton

    Honda marks get set go

    If this sounds far-fetched why are Honda and various other Japanese companies investing millions into creating autonomous robots (Asimo anyone). The sad fact is, now that we all have smart phones there is no new 'big thing' on the horizon other than robots, or should I say Androids. We all want our own personal butler (perhaps a female one with a 'Siri' voice), preferably one that can do all the mundane things in life, like work.

    Where they are going to have to make the paradigm shift is in making cheap plastic cybernetic beings rather than expensive clanking metal robots.

    Paris as she is the plastic pal that's fun to be with.

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