Menu
Google bots are coming!

Google bots are coming!

Google teams up with Foxconn to trade robotic tech for robotic manufacturing, says report

Google is teaming up with long-time Apple partner Foxconn to work on Google's robotics vision.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, which has built a lot of Apple's iPhones and iPads, has struck a deal with Google to build robotics for the company.

Google declined to comment this afternoon and Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Andy Rubin, Google's former Android lead and now the head of the company's robotics efforts, recently went to Taipei to meet with Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou about the deal, reported the Journal, citing unnamed sources.

The deal would benefit both companies, giving Google a robotics manufacturer and giving robotics technology to Foxconn for its manufacturing business.

"Well, that should speed up development cycles for Google," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "Foxconn is one of the industry's largest contract manufacturers and what they do best is build things. Google, on the other hand, invents things but its core competency isn't building things, particularly hardware, quickly and efficiently."

The pact, he added, would bring hardware manufacturing scale to Google -- a must, if Google wants to mass produce robots at an affordable price.

"Pretty soon we'll have an army of Google robots, like in Star Wars II," said Kerravala.

Google, a company known worldwide for search, Android and its ubiquitous Maps service, has been taking a deep dive into robotics in the past six months or so. The company announced late last month that it was acquiring DeepMind Technologies, a London-based artificial intelligence (AI) company.

In December, Google bought Boston Dynamics, a robotics company known for its four-legged BigDog robot, as well as six-foot-tall, 330-pound humanoid robot, Atlas.

Those acquisitions came on the heels of a six-month buying spree in which Google bought seven other robotics businesses.

In addition, Google has been working for the last several years to develop autonomous automobiles. The self-driving car effort has logged thousands of miles on the road and even had Google executives approaching Detroit car makers in the hopes of finding business partners.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleApplehardwarehardware systemswall street journalEmerging TechnologiesThe Wall Street Journal

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments