Before former Android head Andy Rubin left Google, he headed up Google’s robotics efforts. In 2013, Google acquired numerous companies and added 300 robotics engineers. The crown jewel was Boston Dynamics, already known for their animal- and human-like robots. However, Bloomberg is now reporting that Alphabet is selling Boston Dynamics.
Adam Savage of MythBusters fame gave an interesting interview with Google X’s Astro Teller back in October and you can now view the full video thanks to Tested. In the 25-minute video interview, which can be seen above, the two talk about a variety topics, ranging from Astro Teller’s childhood to Google’s self-driving cars. Another interesting topic discussed are the smart contact lenses the company is developing, as well as its goal to bring internet connectivity to everywhere.
Adam Savage welcomes Astro Teller to The Talking Room! Astro is Google’s ‘Captain of Moonshots’, directing the Google X lab where self-driving cars, smart contact lenses, and other futuristic projects are conceived and made real. Adam sat down with Astro at the Tested Live Show this past October to chat about the benefits of thinking big and failing quickly.
Google’s head of Google[x] Astro Teller took the stage today at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, to talk about the Mountain View company’s secretive experimental lab and the things that the team has learned over years of showing its ambitious projects to the world (via The Verge). Teller spent a lot of time talking about Google Glass—which is definitely one the better known projects to come out of Google[x]—and how this fame was actually part of where Google failed…
Google X boss Astro Teller spoke with the New York Times on the topic of the experimental lab and the value it produces for the company, saying that the X lab’s goal is to find new technology markets that the Mountain View company can jump into and problems it can solve.
According to Teller, Google gives X projects a longer period of time in which to prove they can become profitable. He specifically highlights the “Neural Network Project” (previously known as Google Brain) as one project that has turned a serious profit. In fact, Brain is now bringing in enough “value” to offset the costs of running the entire X lab, Teller says:
Google Glass may seem to be essentially on the brink of death, but Google focusing on Android Wear for the time being doesn’t necessarily mean that the Mountain View company is done pursuing the area of smart glasses. In fact, Google’s Eric Schmidt recently said that it plans to bring Glass—described as if it’s going to see some kind of 2.0 rebirth—to the consumer market “soon,” but only “when it works.”
Google Glass has most definitely had a hard timecapturing the imagination of the public (and the government), been met with countless criticisms thanks to its privacy implications, and generally created an image around itself that has made the device in its current form rather socially unacceptable to wear. But all this aside, Google X “moonshot” head Astro Teller says that it’s only a matter of time before glasses are the portal to our digital world.
Google X, Google’s top-secret lab thought about creating a jetpack, but determined the idea wasn’t practical. The same R&D group that didn’t shy away from trying to build a space elevator felt that such a contraption might not fit in with Google’s eco-friendly projects.
Astro Teller, Google X’s “Captain of Moonshots,” is tasked with overseeing long-term projects that think outside of the box to solve serious world problems. We’ve seen some exciting things like Glass come out of Google X, but sometimes things just don’t work. One of the team’s abandoned ideas was a secure jetpack.