Google has bought its latest robotics company, this time purchasing Boston Dynamics -- the maker of YouTube-famous four-legged robots that look a lot like dogs and wild cats.
The Silicon Valley giant has been busy buying robot companies throughout 2013, with Boston Dynamics marking Google’s eighth purchase of that kind in the past six months.
Boston Dynamics has been around since the early ‘90s, and in recent years, viewers around the world have been introduced to the company thanks to videos on YouTube that show its robots in action. The robots in the videos include BigDog, which is built for rough terrain; WildCat, which can operate in any kind of environment; and Cheetah Robot, which is capable of out-running Usain Bolt.
The deal was reported by the New York Times, which said Google will honor Boston Dynamics’ existing military contracts but has no plans of becoming a military contractor.
Earlier this fall it was reported that former Android boss Andy Rubin is leading Google’s robotics efforts. The New York Times says the company is aiming to build autonomous robots that could be capable of tasks that include manufacturing work and elder care.
Google confirmed the deal but has not said how much it paid for Boston Dynamics.