Google is going to the dogs—the mechanical, self-correcting, scary intelligent automated dogs. Last week, the technology giant confirmed that it had bought Boston Dynamics, a little-known Northeastern robotics company that has gained a following through web videos demonstrating various projects. The Waltham, Mass.-based company’s machines’ can scale rough terrain and run at high speeds.
Google has not indicated what it plans to do with its budding robotic division. Global sales of robots are expected to grow 10.5 percent annually to $20.2 billion in 2016, according to market researcher Freedonia Group. If Google can convince businesses to buy into this growing, it may have an impressive new line of revenue on its hands.
Much of the expected growth in sales is expected to come from outside of factories with what’s known as service robots. They are mobile so that they can be quickly moved to where they’re needed and safe enough to work side-by-side with their human colleagues. Service robots have long been a dream in the robotics field. But improvements in technology have only recently made them feasible. “The idea of putting robots and people together collaboratively is starting to become a big trend,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation, the umbrella organization for three trade groups focused on different areas of robotics.