Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Tencent, and many start-up companies have invested in the field of robotics, but to enter the market of commercial robots few. From this perspective, on how the robot from the laboratory into the real world of the topic, no one stepped on a mine than Google, it had to pay more than the tuition.
Google is beginning to make a robot. . . Tell the news, I could not help but play fine possession, for Google a little embarrassed for a moment. It is because Google’s robot project had a good hand: “Android” father Andy Rubin (Andy Rubin), a humanoid robot expert Rosenberg (Jonathan Rosenberg), there is the famous manufacturer Boston Dynamics robot foot ( boston Dynamics), were moving moment of humanoid robots Atlas …… but these have failed to stop the Google team inside the robot frequently the footsteps of unitary moths. Five years, the dissolution of the project restructuring, reorganization and then disbanded again. Executives have fled, plans to halt sales of several major trump card companies their bondage, how a “paste” Zile. So in March, the official blog Google AI came news that Google internal build-up of the original robot project engineers and researchers, to open a program called “Robotics at Google” The new robot team, it is people sweating fog water. Today we have an article by, overall look at the pains and sorrows between Google and the robot, and try to answer the question: If you want to get a robot, what issues should be tackled Google? Has shown signs: while short sweet time to Deepmind as the representative of Google AI team the past two years the big kill Quartet, software algorithms to shine, very few people will be concerned about Google robot this “sewer” project. In fact, the beginning of the project came from the robot is still very luxurious. Andy Rubin 2013 March is known as the father of the Android Google Android no longer serve as head of department, he was assigned a new job – the creation of a real robot sector (Android robot is meant). After six months, the Google robot on the acquisition of nine companies, including Boston was designed for military research Boston Dynamics robot moveAnd design a robot force of M 1 MekaRobotics company, and worked in DARPA Robotics Challenge race win Schaft. DeepMind can also because with a strong common learning algorithms help expand the communication between the robot by Andy Rubin is Google in the bag. This round of spending millions of dollars to “buy buy buy”, then let Google have the world’s strongest engineers and the most advanced hardware technology to combat readiness posture to enter the field of robotics. Andy Rubin between serving a year, Google robot flies department called a moisture. The first is the relationship between the company being acquired and robots are particularly good, Google is not here to interfere Boston Dynamics and several other company’s existing research and development program, these usually look at the company’s creative Control Engineering Copyright , then get inspired to develop their own business robots. Internal department is no pressure, Andy Rubin said in an interview openly expressed, the department does not intend to launch any product of practical significance in the coming years. It sounds simply part immortal work! However, officially formed less than a year, Google Android Andy Rubin left the department because of the chaos and open tragic “wandering department” career. So, Andy Rubin is exactly why leave it? On the one hand is his own style issues, female subordinates sexual coercion and other complaints, in October 2014, the Google investigation confirmed after discouraging (private melon which we will not start); more important reason is that, Andy Rubin, including robotics engineers, have the emotion of the company’s management. Robot department was originally hoping to independently operate as Google’s anti-aging company Calico, companies they like Andy Rubin as “laissez-faire attitude.” But Google executives, but this sector many “restrictions on the action,” so that employees can not flex its muscles. This does not, Andy Rubin was gone, Google and soon the sector has been transformed, while inventory acquisitions of companies have done what the robot, while wondering how to commercialize it. It was said that Google would develop a plan to make Boston Dynamics driven by a tire or track household robots to help humans perform some basic physical labor.The most direct impact of this round of turmoil is that the acquisition of the partner companies are beginning to conflict with Google’s management, such as Boston Dynamics Boston Dynamics just entered a period of up to two years of rebellion. Twists and turns: frequently changed hands in frustration Andy Rubin left, the Google robot was used as an internal high-rise projects, like any rub. Soon hired a famous humanoid robot expert James Kufner (James Kuffner) succeed Andy Rubin’s office. The academic background of the manager, apparently comes top of the cylinder, has just served less than six months, Google robot team conducted a second restructuring. This time successor Bikufuna less suitable for this position. Google appointed Jonathan Rosenberg (Jonathan Rosenberg) was senior vice president of marketing, as the new director to replace Kufner robot sector. And he has had to work at Motorola, and focus on the management of Schmidt co-authored books, there is no relevant history of the field of robotics. Send such a zero industry experience to manage a group of people of faith to embrace technology, “the strongest brain” engineer, how much experience this appointment ah. As has been unable to find a suitable supervisor, collaboration between project problems, Google robot department impasse is inevitable. By the end of 2015, robots department has been incorporated into the Alphabet research lab Google X, broke the speculation to be independent of its subsidiaries into the idea, opened the third restructuring. In the full General Assembly after the reorganization on, Google X head of Astro Teller Volkswagen announced that if the robot can not help Google to solve the problem from a practical level, the staff will make other arrangements, was transferred to do other work. Since then, the conflict between the executives and the robotics department along with the pressure further fermentation. Such as Boston Dynamics, in Boston they are doing their own thing, turning a deaf ear to the California headquarters of the command. Until 2016, the conflict has two sides to the point where even the surface of the articles are too lazy to do. Here, Google CEO Larry Page’s assistant has just issued a statement: “(Boston Dynamics) must not spend more than 30% of resources into a need 10 years to the success of things must begin within a few years to achieve revenue offset expenses. “side of Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert on Taking a response – “Only thing we did in Boston to deliver the ultimate product.” Google’s head of public relations and even publicly stated (Boston Dynamics) caused a series of problems that most of us (referring to Google) do not want to answer. Hope people will Google and online video in the robot to draw a line, and do not discuss and lead to a new report the real situation of Boston Dynamics in Google. And Boston Dynamics’ common fate “was also Meka Robotics. The same is stripped out from MIT start-up companies, its design and production can lift about 10 pounds (about 4.5 kilograms) object manipulator, related promotion program has also been a senior Google’s strong opposition has been terminated. Spun off by JSK Robotics Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan start-up companies Schaft, originally to the disaster site as well as emergency rescue robot as its core business, and has repeatedly won the US Department of Defense (DARPA) Robot Challenge. But after being purchased and Google robot sector, Schaft also seems to enter the extradimensional world, the outside world rarely informed of their product development situation. A little bit impression of appearance, or (Google robot project founder you’re not wrong, is that previously have left) in 2016 by Andy Rubin invitation to participate in the show when the Japanese New Economy Summit (New Economic Summit) a humanoid two robot, shape and the movie “interstellar” in the robot similar TARS God.
(Left: Schaft biped robot; right: the film “Interstellar” stills)
the story here has been almost no suspense. “Thousands of miles of dikes” Google robot program, eventually completely fall apart in 2018. The end of the process is very messy. June 2017, Boston Dynamics was sold to Softbank, Schaft had also planned to sell together, but in the end due to some conditions, failed to reach agreement failed. After that, Google robot project fell into silence. Until November 2018, Google announced the parent company Alphabet officially closed Schaft, considered for this round effort on the robot project drew a dismal end. Rebirth: The software will be redeemed leading it? So, when the “emotional breakdown” Just four months later, Google has made a comeback, assembled the original itemThe purpose engineers and researchers set up a new team Robotics at Google, my heart there is no fluctuation was sweating a little question mark. To begin with talk about the new team are doing concrete. The biggest difference between the robot and the department before the team after rebirth, that will focus on the field of machine learning, develop new skills by teaching robots to enhance the ability of AI systems and software. For example, the team’s latest research results, and researchers are at Princeton, Columbia, MIT several institutes, to develop a set of TossingBot sorter. So that the robot arm can pick out the correct object from a bunch of stuff in, and threw it into the appropriate grid. Robotics at Google by saying, flexibility and speed of response of the machine 2 times faster than the most advanced sorting cargo system, ideal for volume deployment in the electricity business logistics warehouses, distribution centers and so on. The new head of Vincent Vanhoucke from the history of Control Engineering Copyright , was to help Google to start one of the principals of artificial intelligence research department, this is not difficult to see Google rely on “soft power” to make robot business back to life. It want? Respondents want to hand over heavy and difficult to score, I’m afraid to find out where all the robot business. “Love-hate” robot, of course, here not simply rudely concluded that Google robots do not work. After all, someone has rich technical Gangster personally pitched get it working, other companies may not be able to cope. Google “three palace” tortuous exploratory, for the intelligent robot industry might be able to bring some things worth considering, such as: Before betting heavily robot project, what issues need to take into consideration? 1. reliable long-term strategic planning. For this type of robot technology innovative companies, spending on manufacturing, human, material and other costs of hundreds to tens of millions, and in the short term is difficult to obtain a reasonable yield. Therefore, the robot companies often require continuous large-scale investment to protect. For example, since 1994, Boston Dynamics defense funds obtained from DARPA, the amount of more than $ 150 million. However, there is a lot of money is not enough to complete the design of the overall transformation commercialization, also requires strong leadership, good infrastructure, excellent product and market strategy, and nearlyAlmost perfect execution. For start-up companies, something besides money but is the most difficult. 2. “wide grain, building walls,” the R & D so that if the rich and powerful, such as Softbank, gathered from a number of top managers and engineers, set up in a mature industry chain basis, a high probability of success? After-hours from Boston Dynamics is connected to two years of performance, it seems doubtful. Perhaps the reason is that the robot is just a physical carrier , a lot of behind-dependent technology research and practice, traditional technologies such as IT, Internet, telecommunications and other emerging technologies such as big data, new materials, artificial intelligence Wait. Obvious advantages of a single field may not be able to bring a wide range of influence and practical value. The new robot team unprecedented attention to the proportion of machine learning algorithms, not difficult to see that Google is rethinking the relationship between technology and hardware. 3. Engineers cultural and commercial return balance Google robot project was tortuous again and again, and engineers in culture are not unrelated strong internal. Founder Larry Page has always stressed the need to hire people with experience in engineering talent, and often to “change the world” technology to encourage employees to faith. Compared to other positions, technical personnel in the company is always more attention. Previously it happened more than three thousand employees and hundreds of scholars collective letter , in cooperation with the boycott Google thing the Pentagon, the result is dozens of employee turnover, CEO decided to cancel the contract. Indeed Control Engineering Copyright , technology companies adhering to the “technology first” philosophy of natural justice, but also make Google’s product easily from the real application requirements, embodied in the robot project, which is perfectly user experience at all. Although Google executives have tried to know better business by hiring professional managers, internal business into consideration in order to implement the standard “test toothbrush”, and open source robot Foundation (OSRF) cooperation and so on ways to balance the technical and commercial development of return the relationship between, but all was resistance from engineers. Under such reaction, the performance of Google’s robot more powerful, but more distant from the public, was abandoned by the market is not surprising. Boston Dynamics robot earlier video after the outflow was soon doubts from the general public and media levels, such as whether it will take away human work? meetingThere will be no danger of a terrorist attack? Google itself had an emergency public relations, and these robots are not grounded air to draw a line. Clearly, Google is aware of this issue and trying to close bonding in the new robot project will be technological innovation and market demand. For example, the latest robot dumped TossingBot, it is sharply focused on specific tasks such as warehousing scene. According to ITRI IEK research report forecast, is expected to 2021, the market size of the global intelligent robots will grow to $ 33.6 billion. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Tencent, and many start-up companies have invested in the field of robotics. But based on the current market situation, to enter the market of commercial robots few. From this perspective, on how the robot from the laboratory into the real world of the topic, no one stepped on a mine than Google, had to pay more than the tuition, it might be hopeful that a breakthrough first. Google plans to re-start the robot can challenge success? The results may still be a mystery, but it’s every move, definitely worth the other robots learn and benefit from the company.