One of the driving forces behind a mobile operating system called Android is now trying to build real robots. Andy Rubin stepped down as Google’s head of Android software earlier this year, but he’s still with the company — and now the New York Times has revealed what he’s been working on.
Google’s investing in a project to design robots which are mobile and capable of manipulating objects. They could assist in manufacturing, package delivery, or other tasks. What Google isn’t building are electronic housemaids or other robots aimed at the consumer market.
At this point, Google is considering the project a “moonshot,” which is short-hand for a big idea that could make a big impact… but which might also never actually come to fruition.
But Google is hoping to produce and sell robots in the not-too-distant future.
This isn’t the software company’s first venture into the hardware space. Google has also been working on driverless cars for a few years and hopes to sell its own Google Glass wearable computers within the next year or so.
Google’s also hardly the only company investing in robotics research. One of the ways Rubin has built his team is to acquire smaller companies. According to the New York Times, Google has already acquired seven different companies working in the field and Rubin has his eye on more.