Google launches Intrinsic - New Build Software for Industrial Robots
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Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has announced a new company called Intrinsic. The company will focus on building software for industrial robots.

According to the blog post, the company will “unlock the creative and economic potential of industrial robotics for millions more businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers” by creating software that will make deploying industrial robots “easier to use, less costly, and more flexible.”

Though it is still not clear who its customers are and what will Intrinsic be building. Alphabet has earlier been involved in a number of ventures such as Waymo – The Self Driving Car, Wing-Delivery Drones, and Verily-Healthcare and Biotech.

A robot at the Intrinsic lab uses machine learning and force control to insert three different types of power connectors (video sped up)

Google has been obsessed with Robotics for many years, but its efforts have been unfocused and have no commercially hit product to back its claims.
Earlier in 2013 Google tried its hand with robotics when it went around shopping for 7 companies in six months. The list of company’s included Schaft – a Japanese firm known for bipedal bots, Bot & Dolly – Makers of very cool viral videos, and Boston Dynamics which needs no introduction.

Andy Rubin, an executive who co-founded the Android mobile operating system led this mission named “Replicant”.There has been no news related to Replicant, seems like either the company is sold off or shut down most of its acquisitions. There was also news about Rubin being accused of sexual misconduct leading to his departure from the company in 2014.

Google has been focusing more on the software side of things since Replicant’s failure. Playing to its strengths Google focused on the use of machine learning to teach robots to manipulate objects without direct supervision.

Two robots use perception, force control, and multi-robot planning to assemble a simple piece of furniture (video sped up)

According to Wendy Tan White, CEO, Intrinsic, “Over the last few years, our team has been exploring how to give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn, and automatically make adjustments as they’re completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications.”

He further added, “[W]e’ve been testing software that uses techniques like automated perception, deep learning, reinforcement learning, motion planning, simulation, and force control.”

This is not the first time Google has tried its hands with robotics, earlier in 2019 the company announced its Everyday Robot project. It was an effort to develop a general-purpose learning robot. Even the site dedicated to the project has a link to read more on its homepage. This directs you to a launch blog post, unchanged since 2019.

Let’s hope Intrinsic will be a new chapter, and Google achieves what it has set out for.

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