Google’s droids take on Amazon’s drones

Bots vs. blades in the great 2019 shootout to accelerate home deliveries
December 5, 2013

Prototype of future Google delivery guy? (credit: SHAFT, Inc.)

Andy Rubin, the Google executive who developed Google’s free Android software, has revealed to The New York Times he is working on a secret Google project to create a new generation of robots.

The goal: improve the efficiency of manufacturing of small electronics — now largely manual — and packing goods in warehouses, and ultimately making home deliveries — perhaps via Google-designed autonomous vehicles.

“Google has recently started experimenting with package delivery in urban areas with its Google Shopping service, and it could try to automate portions of that system,” the Times suggests.

Google executives describe this robotic vision as a “moonshot.” But it appears to be “more realistic than Amazon’s proposed drone delivery service,” opines the Times.

Stephen Colbert begs to disagree: “These Amazon drones are a great idea, and guaranteed to be safe, thanks to all the drone testing we’ve done overseas. I mean, worse-case scenario, a few homes get carpet-gifted with some collateral generosity.”

Meanwhile, Rubin has acquired several robotics and AI start-up companies in the U.S. and Japan, says the paper, including these: