Google buys robotics firm Boston Dynamics

Google has snapped up another robotics firm, this time Boston Dynamics – the maker of powerful robots for the US military.

Boston Dynamics creates robots that can run and lift objects, with creations including the Cheetah – the world’s fastest running robot – and BigDog, which can clamber up and down hills and other rough terrain, and is as terrifying as it sounds.

The robotics project will be led by Andy Rubin, who previously ran Android. Google hasn’t said exactly what Rubin is working on or how much the acquisition cost.

“I am excited about Andy Rubin’s next project,” said Google co-founder Larry Page. “His last big bet, Android, started off as a crazy idea that ended up putting a supercomputer in hundreds of millions of pockets. It is still very early days for this, but I can’t wait to see the progress.”

Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics firm Google has acquired in the past year. It’s also picked up camera maker Bot & Dolly, robotic wheel maker Holomni and computer vision firm Industrial Perception, as well as Redwood Robotics, Meka Robotics and Schaft Inc, which makes humanoid robots.

Rubin told The New York Times earlier this month that his “moonshot” robotics work was a long-term project.

“Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor,” Rubin said. “We need enough runway and a ten-year vision.”

Watch below for a video of Boston Dynamic’s new WildCat robot in action:

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