Google acquisition of Boston Dynamics could mean more government contracts

In the past six months, Google has acquired eight robotic firms at an alarming rate. Boston Dynamics was the last of such firms that were on Google’s acquisition list. Thus, this acquisition could mean a greater consignment of government contracts coming into Google’s coffers.

Boston Dynamics is based in Waltham, Massachusetts, an engineering company with ties to the United States Government. The company had already designed an impressive line of robots while under contract with the Pentagon and since being acquired by Google, they (Boston Dynamics) are on tracked to increase their brand awareness as a premier engineering company in the Robotic Industry.

Boston Dynamics was started in 1992 when Dr. Marc Raibert and a group of his esteemed colleagues first developed the robots that could simulate the movements of animals. Consequently, Big Dog became a very popular product for the Department of Defense because of its’ ability to travel over rough terrain. 

Another innovative robot that the company created was RISE, a robot that can climb vertical surfaces like a squirrel skimpering up a tree. This robot also comes in handy for any branch of the U. S. armed forces during times of combat and aiding American troops with their various maneuvers.

SquishBot is a shape-changing chemical robot that can move through tight spaces and many other close quarters. Lastly, Petman is an anthropomorphic robot (shaped like a man) and can be utilized by space labs and NASA for testing equipment. This robot is so named because of its’ ability to simulate human movement.

Still, Boston Dynamics is a company that is poised for growth and expansion. The company has entered a team of engineers to compete in the Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA) Robotic Competition in an effort to create a class of robots that can operate in natural disasters and/or catastrophes. There was one such catastrophe that happened in Fukushima, Japan at a nuclear power plant.  So this acquisition could brighten Google’s humanitarian future as well.

In 2000, Boston Dynamics was awarded $140 million in government contracts while Google only captured a paltry $300,000. Yet Google is tight-lipped as to whether the acquisition could further enhanced their brand toward garnering more government contracts. DARPA is a government agency developed in the days of the cold war; in which they have carried out extensive research on robotic capability to be used in the military.

Furthermore, this acquisition could mean a more secured future for Google in robotic technology. As stated earlier, Atlas and Petman are two humanoid bots that can simulate human movements. One thing is for sure, the acquiring of Boston Dynamics will add to Google’s impressive list of robotic companies: Shaft and Meka and Redwood Robotics. 

Google’s “Moonshot” vision

Finally, the eight robotic companies that Google have acquired in the past six months is a “Moonshot” vision; that grand seemingly impossible vision that pushes the imagination beyond “what’s currently possible”. Yet, by and large, this Google acquisition could mean a larger consignment of government contracts coming into Google’s coffers. This chalks another one up for the social media giant.