Google's quest to build a robot fleetThe former head of Android leads a project to build robots for manufacturing jobs, YotaPhone brings e-ink to smartphones, and Chromecast adds its first game.
It won't be long before the robots take over. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Google is known for its ambitious projects like Google Glass, self-driving cars or finding ways to prolong life with Calico. But its latest mission isn't so far fetched as curing death. Google is building a new generation of robots to replace human workers and factories. Google has acquired seven robotics companies recently to get a head start on this goal of becoming a new leader in manufacturing. And these robots are humanoid with arms and faces and some of them can walk. The head of this robotics project was previously in charge of Android. He called it a moon shot vision and it could take a decade to build out. So, this week, we learn that Amazon is working on flying drums and Google is building a fleet of humanoid robots. So, I guess we won't have to wait too long for the machine uprising against mankind. If you're getting bored with today's smartphones and think they're all starting to look alike, well, there's a new phone out that will make you do a double take with its double screens. The YotaPhone is an Android phone made in Russia. It has a regular LCD screen on the front and there's an E-Ink screen on the back. It's the same screen you see in e-Readers like the Kindle. The point of having an E-Ink screen on the back is that it helps your battery last for days. You don't have to keep turning on the screen to check the time or see if you missed any messages. It will all just be displayed always on that E-Ink side for a quick glance. You can put all sorts of things on that black and white screen. When you're low on battery, just save your directions on a map. Of course you could do some reading and you can turn a selfie into an epic wallpaper for all to see. The YotaPhone is on sale now in Russia, Germany, Australia and Spain. It's coming to the UK next year but no word on the U.S. If it takes off, it's certainly could bring some fresh concepts to the smartphone industry. Chromecast, the streaming media stick from Google that only cost $35, now has added gaming to the list of things it can do. Owners can play Tic Tac Toe. All you need to do is download the game on an Android of iOS device and the Chromecast will stream it to the television. I know Tic Tac Toe isn't going to wow anyone but it is a start. Maybe other developers will build games that can work on the Chromecast. The HDMI stick also streams Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, Google Plus and Pandora. That's your tech news update. You can find more details at CNET.com/update and be sure to follow along on Twitter for the latest. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.