Will Google’s Robots Challenge Amazon’s Delivery Drones?
(Wired) Google is quietly buying up robotics startups for a project that appears to be more than just experimental. With Amazon talking of delivery by drones, the speculation is that Google might be planning to have one of the robots hop off an automated Google Car and race to the buyer’s doorstep to deliver a package.
Google is taking incremental measurements to automate steps all along the consumer-product supply chain, from manufacturing to shipping. Delivery would seem to be the process where Google has made the strongest advances, though its self-driving cars predate Rubin’s project. Speculation that autonomous vehicles would someday power Google’s new same-day delivery online shopping service arose almost simultaneously with the announcement of the service itself. But delivery — the so-called “last mile” — is only one piece of the process that gets products from manufacturer to consumer.