Google's Andy Rubin is credited with bringing us Android, one of our favorite little droids. However, it seems Rubin's next project involves actual robots. Andy Rubin stepped down as head of Android way back in March. At the time, the decision was described as a chance for Rubin to 'start a new chapter' at Google, though neither Google nor Rubin (or his replacement, Sundar Pichai) gave any indication as to what that new chapter might be.
According to a New York Times report, Google has been buying up robotics firms over the last six months as part of a larger effort to invest in its future plans for robots. It's a long-term investment, and apparently, the person leading the charge is Andy Rubin himself. Rubin, a former robotics engineer for Carl Zeiss, is hoping to create intelligent systems that make peoples' lives easier. One example he gave the New York Times was a windshield wiper that switches on when it rains. The NYT cites Google execs as saying the robotic vision is a 'moonshot,' but Rubin seems hopeful.
"Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor," Rubin said. "We need enough runway and a 10-year vision."
Rubin joined Google back in 2005 and was tasked to turn his open-source mobile OS into a full-fledged Apple iOS rival. Those very open-source roots helped propel the platform to its current stardom, offered up for free to manufacturers who in turn can customize the platform to fill their needs. Google already has self-driving cars, but with someone like Rubin at the helm of its robotics division, the sky is the limit.