Google Leaves the DARPA Robotics Challenge, Robots, Robots, and More Robots!

Google's HRP-2 Schaft Robot

Google is thought by many to be the front-runner in robotics. The company's interest in robotics is huge indeed; it's in the "Robotics Business Review's Top 50 List" (RBR50). RBR50 is a list of the most influential pubic and private companies in the global robotics industry (quote from "About the RBR50"). In 2003 Google acquired seven (7) awesome and technologically diverse robotics companies: Boston Dynamics, Bot & Dolly, Holomni, Industrial Perception, Meka Robotics, Redwood Robotics, and Schaft, Inc. At the end of this post I'll add some cool videos about each company's robots. Google pulled its "Team Schaft" HRP-2 robot out of the Pentagon-funded DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). Although the 3-year competition is less than halfway finished, the Schaft robot was the obvious front-runner. Tokyo-based Schaft, Inc. was founded specifically to enter in the $2M DRC and easily won the qualifying event in 2013. However, now with Google owning Schaft, accepting money from the DoD … [Read more...]