Google's Latest Buy: Military Robot Firm

Boston Dynamics contraption is world's fastest robot runner

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 16, 2013 9:58 AM CST

(Newser) – Google has purchased its eighth robotics company of the year, and its latest acquisition makes the fastest-running robot on the planet. Boston Dynamics, inventor of the Cheetah, gets US military funding to make mobile robots, the BBC reports. Along with the Cheetah—which can run 29mph—company projects include BigDog, which can move over icy terrain and climb hills, and WildCat, another fast runner.

The company, founded in 1992 by an ex-MIT professor, has done consulting work for Sony, though its creations aren't typically for the consumer market. It's providing the military with humanoid robots aimed at handling disasters like the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, the New York Times reports. Boston Dynamics will fulfill its current military contracts under Google, but founder Marc Raibert doesn't see military work as the firm's primary objective. "The future is looking awesome!" tweets Google engineer Andy Rubin, via the Verge.

The WildCat robot from Boston Dynamics.
The WildCat robot from Boston Dynamics.   (YouTube)
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The "BigDog" robot.   (YouTube)

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