Google acquires Boston Dynamics, maker of animal-inspired robots

Company nabs a maker of impressive walking and running creatures. It's part of Google's effort to buy its way into a future populated by autonomous mechanical entities.

Boston Dynamics' gas-powered WildCat robot, which can gallop across a parking lot, is now part of Google's robotics program.
Boston Dynamics' gas-powered WildCat robot, which can gallop across a parking lot, is now part of Google's robotics program. screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google has acquired Boston Dynamics, maker of Cheetah , BigDog , WildCat and other nature-inspired robots.

Google confirmed the acquisition in a Saturday New York Times report, which also broke the story earlier in December about former Android chief Andy Rubin leading a robotics push at Google .

Boston Dynamics gained Internet fame through YouTube videos of its agile, often gas-powered robots dealing with ice, snow, and other obstacles. It's easy to see why the Defense Department -- specifically the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -- is interested.

Boston Dynamics has a lot of experience with quadrupedal robots, but more recently, it's developed its bipedal Petman , also funded by DARPA.

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

Saving your life at speed and in style

Volvo have been responsible for some of the greatest advancements in car safety. We list off the top ways they've kept you safe today, even if you don't drive one.