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April 10, 2014

Google invests in robot maker Savioke

Search giant pumps $2m into Silicon Valley-based robotics company through its Google Ventures investment arm.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has emphasised its interest in robotic ventures by announcing a new investment in US-based robot manufacturer Savioke.

The $2m in funding comes from the search engine’s investment division Google Ventures, in collaboration with AME Cloud Ventures, founded by former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, and a range of other individuals.

Savioke is planning to using the investment to build a first commerical robot product, which it hopes could be used in services industry.

CEO Steve Cousins said the company is passionate about delivering easy-to-use yet sophisticated robots that can help people.

"Our goal is to improve the lives of people by developing and deploying robotic technology in service environments," Cousins added.

The service robot is said to run on the open-source ROS operating system, while the company is planning to commence trials in late 2014.

Google Ventures general partner Andy Wheeler said, "As the lines continue to blur between industrial and personal robotics industries, Google Ventures is thrilled to be working with an exceptional group of people at Savioke."

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California-based Savioke was only established in 2013 and produces the PR2 robot and the Robot Operating System (ROS).

Morado Venture Partners managing director Ash Patel said, "They have a unique vision for bringing autonomous service robots to market, and the technology chops and proven track record to build an outstanding robot."

Google has acquired eight robotics companies in total, most notably Boston Dynamics, an engineering firm behind walking humanoid and animal-like robots, which had previously worked for the US Department of Defense DARPA agency.

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