Google's unofficial motto might be 'Don't be evil', but soon that might change to 'Tremble before the mighty robot armies of Google!'
In the last few weeks, Google has been gobbling up robot manufacturers like they're extremely moorish (and expensive) dry roasted peanuts. At the head of their burgeoning mechanical empire is Boston Dynamics, a research and development company which primarily deals with creating military robots.
Now, none of these robots have quite reached Terminator level of deadliness, although their BigDog robot is capable to lobbing a pretty hefty cinder-block (albeit, while simultaneously looking like it really needs to pee). However, their recent purchases do pose some interesting questions.
The obvious one is: Why does Google want to own so many robot corporations? If scifi movies have taught us anything, the only logical conclusion is they want to do 'a full OmniCorp' and try to clandestinely take over the world with their piston-powered hordes. This article over at io9 is even suggesting Google wants to establish their own city-state, with their own military and economic might.
Personally, I'm not so sure about this. Indeed, with Google's tax-dodging tendencies (yeah, so much for not 'being evil') they seem much more inclined to free-load off the current state infrastructure system than attempt to create their own.
The reason for their acquisitions is probably rather dull and boring. They clearly see robots as the next frontier in consumer technology and are grabbing up all the robot corporations in an attempt to head off competitors. Hell, it might just be simple good ol' fashioned war profiteering.
Fortunately, in reality these robots are no-where as sophisticated as our Hollywood blockbuster-addled brains would have us believe. No death rays, no chainsaw equipped appendages, no mini-guns strapped to 100ft tall destuct-atrons. In fact, most are used purely for logistical, transport and testing tasks — rather boring to be honest. Indeed, it's looking increasingly likely that autonomous killing robots will be outlawed by the UN. Although, having-said-that, Boston Dynamic's PETMAN project is certainly slightly terrifying:
Basically, Google will almost certainly invade your home with robots, but only because they want you to fork out a load of cash for some new gizmo no-one actually needs...
What do you think? Are you concerned about Google buying up all the robot manufacturers? Drop your opinion below.