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December 16, 2013

Robot Wars (sorry, deliveries)

Google’s purchase of Boston Dynamics could set up an interesting race with Amazon’s drones to your front door.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

After Amazon’s announcement that drones could be making door to door deliveries by 2018, Google let slip about its own plans to create a new generation of robots, under a project led by ex-Android chief Andy Rubin.

Now the search engine giant has gone and bought Boston Dynamics, the company behind the scarily fast and curiously canine Cheetah, BigDog and WildCat running robots.

Boston Dynamics

The two companies are preparing to battle it out to dominate the last mile robot delivery market; the industry no-one thought existed until Amazon chief Jeff Bezos was kind enough to tell the world about it earlier this month.

To most experts this future seems much further away than five years’ time, what with the infrastructure issues that will cause problems for drone deliveries, not to mention problems with high winds, for instance.

But the news from Google does set up a funny prospect of drones puttering through the skies to deliver your Amazon package while Google robot dogs pant and wheeze their way past alarmed pedestrians as they race to give you your new Nexus device.

What I want to see is Bezos and Rubin ditch the diplomacy and polite rivalry to go all out on some decent weapons research so families can draw up some chairs looking out onto the front garden, hit ‘order’ on Amazon and Google Play simultaneously, and watch the battle occur when the drone and dog arrive outside.

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