You're right, Elizabeth, Android was no joke. A couple years ago it passed Apple OS as the OS that was installed in the greatest number of phones. Pretty good considering search is Google core competence.
As a super-gEEky software/electrical/controls engineer with many years of experience in the materials handling industry as well as have been an industrial robot programmer, I think that Google needs to hire me for this project! :)
I think that some of Google's things have been a little too abstract for me to want to work on, but it would be pretty cool to work for Google on this project, as I'd love to help design robots that are useful enough to work in many situations, instead of being fixed industrial features.
The baxter and universal robotics offerings are just the tip of the iceberg here in this field. We're going to see some very useful and human friendly robots in the field very soon.
Good point, JimT. If ever there was a company that bucks the idea of staying with its core competence, it's Google. Mobile phone OS, running Motorola's mobile phone business, self-driving cars, and now robots -- pretty far from search engines.
I hope these expansions work for them. Other "Household-Name" companies that have previously waded into ventures outside their core-competencies have had varying degrees of success. Its especially difficult when acquiring smaller corporate entities, and then trying to retro-fit the new staff into the larger staff model. Often the conflicts become more than the profits can cover, and the intended growth becomes an eventual failure.
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