Alphabet's X Still Striving To Make Sci-Fi Robots A Reality

Alphabet's moonshot division X is still striving to make science fiction robots a reality, the company's General Manager of Robots Hans Peter Brøndmo revealed earlier this week. In a comprehensive address published on X's official website, Mr. Brøndmo outlined some of the unit's existing efforts and noted how its scientists, engineers, designers, and other experts are still fully committed to delivering solutions that can improve the everyday lives of millions of people in a wide variety of ways and have previously only been the focus of pop culture. The robotics expert also said that people's very notion of a robot is still somewhat misguided, noting how just because highly advanced and sentient robot butlers still aren't a thing doesn't mean that science hasn't been making massive progress on this front in recent years and its inventions have already started transitioning to the consumer segment with inventions like automated vacuum cleaners and smart speakers.

Mr. Brøndmo said that people don't think of today's robots as actual robots but solutions to their problems, suggesting how that train of thought isn't wrong and appears to be the one adopted by X itself, with the company committing significant resources to advancing robotics with specific problems and their solutions in mind. In the medium term, most of the advancements made by Alphabet's subsidiary are believed to come from a combination of machine learning services developed by Google Brain and X's robots, as indicated by the Googler who deemed this combination and its implications incredibly exciting. X is essentially seeking to deliver products that can reliably operate outside of perfectly controlled environments and assist users with a variety of tasks in the real world, though no new projects from the company were announced as part of Mr. Brøndmo's recent summary of the company's endeavors.

Google's efforts to innovate in the field of robotics are now more focused than they previously were but also seem to be less aggressive, with the Mountain View, California-based tech giant recently agreeing to sell its largest robotics division Boston Dynamics to SoftBank for an undisclosed sum less than four years after acquiring it. The company's present automation projects are seemingly more committed to artificial intelligence applications related to conventional devices like smartphones and speakers instead of the creation of entirely new product categories but time will tell whether it decides to continue pursuing that strategy in the future.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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