In case you haven't been keeping track,
) has been acquiring some very interesting companies lately. Just
this week Google announced its purchase of Titan Aerospace, maker
of solar-powered drones.
With robotics, drones and the future of the internet involved,
Google's strategy is becoming clearer and clearer with every
So what is Google up to?
Let's take a look at Google's acquisitions.
Google and Robotics
Over the course of nine days in December 2013 Google bought
seven robotics companies. I can only assume that these deals were
strategically timed to prevent the target companies from
demanding higher prices partway through Google's shopping spree
These companies are engaged in humanlike robots, robotic arms,
computerized vision, robotic wheels and much more.
Perhaps the most high profile of these companies is Boston
Dynamics, best known for the BigDog robot it developed for the
This fleet of robots could likely be programmed to fulfill any
kind of manual work or be used in environments that are too
dangerous for humans. One such use could be in radioactive
environments like that of the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan
that was damaged in 2011.
The spree of robotics acquisitions makes a bit more sense in
the context of its $650 million acquisition of DeepMind
Technologies. The company is a leader in artificial intelligence
with technology that can enable robots to act autonomously and
even "learn" in response to their environment.
Google made major headlines in January when it announced a
$3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs
, a leader in
The concept is rather simple. What if everything in your life
was connected to the internet? Thermostats, door locks, lights,
even your kitchen appliances. How incredible would it be to start
dinner from your smartphone before leaving the office?
This is "the internet of things," and it is the next major
stage for the internet.
In its latest move, Google acquired Titan Aerospace. The
company produces solar powered drones that are capable of flying
for as long as five years at a time. Coupled with the artificial
Google acquired, these drones could potentially operate
autonomously while serving a number of functions.
For starters, these drones will be incredibly useful to Google
Maps and Google Earth.
But Google has much more important functions in mind for its
new fleet of drones.
Google saw 187 million unique desktop views in February.
That's huge. The problem is that there were only 222 million
total views. Google is literally running out of internet
That's where Project Loon comes in, an initiative to blanket
rural, remote and developing areas with internet coverage using a
connected fleet of weather balloons.
While the acquisition of a drone company doesn't mean the
weather balloon idea is dead, it does suggest that these drones
will have a major role in making ubiquitous internet coverage a
In fact, I think these drones will have a major role in
bringing internet coverage to the remaining 4.6 billion people
who don't currently have access to the internet.
Google and Robots: The Bottom Line
Drones to bring internet coverage to the entire world,
connected devices and robots to make our lives easier and
computers that learn our needs and patterns to facilitate "the
internet of things."
By acquiring leaders in all of the industries required to
piece together the future envisioned by top brass, Google is
shaping its next great phase of growth and the next stage for the
So what is Google up to? Only time will tell, of course. But
the future is bright and Google is clearly the shining star.
Why did Google just invest $60 million in this
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