Google's Robots Are Causing a Buzz in Manufacturing

Matt Shelly
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Google is run by two young visionaries, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Keeping this in mind, it's fairly clear why the future of the company includes the newly announced Google robots. Google has a long to-do list of what it hopes to accomplish in the future as well as a ten-year vision of where the company is headed. With the focus lately on robotics, Google leaves many in the manufacturing industry wondering if the company is leaning toward full automation.

Google has recently purchased a variety of different companies that focus primarily on robotic technology, perhaps with the hope of developing Google robots to do the daily grunt work. Each of these companies offers a different focus on certain aspects of Google robots technology. Autofuss is a company that uses robots to create advertisements, while Hotomni automate omnidirectional wheel motion. Google recently purchased Industrial Perception, Redwood Robotics, Schaft, and Meka Robotics; the latter two companies add to the Google robots' collection with humanoid robots.

Along with manufacturing industry goals, the company hopes to use Google robots to automate package deliveries. This is the same technology as Amazon's Drone Air, which would deliver packages straight from Amazon warehouses to customers around the world within 30 minutes of the completion of the customers' orders; Amazon hopes to have the delivery service available for customers by 2015. UPS has also been testing the use of delivery drones. This new technology capitalizes on the recent relaxation of Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) rules that allow unmanned crafts to take up airspace.

According to a BBC article, many experts are worried that artificial intelligence will overtake human intelligence by the mid-2020s. If manufacturers and companies are overtaken by a rise in robots, then where will that leave the human race with respect to jobs in the future? Hon Hai, one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers says it intends to build a robot manufacturing company that will replace over 500,000 human workers within a period of three years. In addition, documentary filmmaker and author James Barrat is so concerned about a future artificial intelligence takeover that he has written a book about the predicted outcome.

Artificial intelligence has invaded nearly every aspect of our lives. It can be used to fly planes, to keep inboxes free from spam email, and it provides us with maps to get where we need to go. It will be no surprise if one day we'll be able to order products that were put together by Google robots and flown directly to our doors by drones. Google is preparing for the future by seeking the knowledge needed to get there.



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