Google deal adds to company's robotics toolbox

Dec 16, 2013

Google may build robots that resemble props in science-fiction movies as the ambitious Internet company expands into yet another technological frontier.

To gather the expertise and research it needs, Google has purchased eight companies that specialize in robotics this year.

Google Inc. completed its latest deal late last week with the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, a military contractor that has raised intrigue by releasing videos of a four-legged robot called "Cheetah," which is capable of galloping past Olympian sprinters. Another video shows a jumping contraption called "Sand Flea" that can leap onto tall buildings.

The acquisitions are being assembled into Google's new robotics division run by Andy Rubin, who oversaw Google's creation of the Android software that has emerged as the world's leading mobile operating system.

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