Andy Rubin's New Gig: Heading Up Google's Robotic Future


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011

When Andy Rubin stepped down as head of the Android Division at Google earlier this year it came as a shock. At that time, they made it clear that he wasn't leaving the company, but was instead focusing on other projects for Google. The year is almost up and only now are we getting the details on just what Andy has been up to. It turns out, Mr. Rubin is still in charge of androids, just not the Google mobile OS variety. A new report from the New York Times indicates that Andy Rubin is now the head of Google's robotics division. He is working on developing more intelligent robotics for industrial based applications, right now, but his work could lead to other advancements.

Right now they are calling his work a "moonshot" which refers to the fact that it could take a decade before the results of his work are realized. Here's a quote from the NYT article with a few more details,

“Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor,” Mr. Rubin said. “We need enough runway and a 10-year vision.”

Mr. Rubin, the 50-year-old Google executive in charge of the new effort, began his engineering career in robotics and has long had a well-known passion for building intelligent machines. Before joining Apple Computer, where he initially worked as a manufacturing engineer in the 1990s, he worked for the German manufacturing company Carl Zeiss as a robotics engineer.

“I have a history of making my hobbies into a career,” Mr. Rubin said in a telephone interview. “This is the world’s greatest job. Being an engineer and a tinkerer, you start thinking about what you would want to build for yourself.”

He used the example of a windshield wiper that has enough “intelligence” to operate when it rains, without human intervention, as a model for the kind of systems he is trying to create.

What do you guys think? Will Andy Rubin help to usher in a new era of automated prosperity or slavery to robotic overlords?

Source: NewYorkTimes