In March of last year, Andy Rubin announced that he was stepping down as the head of Android, to be replaced by Sundar Pichai. We were shocked to hear the news at first, particularly because Android was Rubin’s baby, but Google CEO Larry Page promised Rubin would stick around to “start a new chapter at Google.” Now we know what that chapter is: robotics.
According to The New York Times, Rubin has been leading a new team that’s being assembled in Japan and Palo Alto dedicated to robotics research. The division is moving quick, too, and acquired 7 different firms in the last six months alone to help bolster its efforts. The New York Times didn’t reveal what sort of robotics projects Rubin and his team are working on yet, but speculated that it may be more related to robots that can be used in manufacturing, as opposed to consumer-focused devices, though the sky is the limit.
“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,” Rubin told The New York Times, admitting that some of Google’s plans could be a “moonshot.”
Neither Andy Rubin nor Google revealed what size budget the robotics team has to play with, but we imagine it’s close to limitless.