29
Dec
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Whether it's a "moonshot" or not, Google seems to be dedicating considerable resources to its new robotics initiative, both financial and human. Almost three months ago Romain Guy, a highly-visible part of Google's internal Android software engineering team (and a pretty spiffy photographer to boot), announced that he was leaving Android for another internal Google position. He has since confirmed that he's moved to the new Google robotics team, currently headed by ex-Android head honcho Andy Rubin.

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Romain Guy presenting at Google I/O 2013.

Guy confirmed the move in an off-the-cuff comment on the Android Subreddit, where he is a regular and enthusiastic participant. He's the second major Android employee to be moved to the new robotics project, presumably dodging puns all the way down the hall. Google has also made headlines by snapping up Boston Dynamics, the robotics firm responsible for buzzworthy quadruped robots like BigDog and Cheetah. Boston Dynamics joins a handful of robotic hardware and software companies that have been quietly purchased by the Silicon Valley giant. Google's robotics team is currently split between two offices in Mountain View and Japan.

I'm glad you like my photos. I am working on Andy's new project indeed.  -Romain Guy

There's still very little known about Google's robotic initiative, though Rubin has stated that the team is focused on the industrial and logistical markets at the moment. Romain Guy hasn't said anything about his particular role, but with the amount of software required on even simple robot projects, it's easy to see why someone with his resume was moved to the new team. Guy graduated from INSA de Lyon with a Masters in Computer Science and has worked for Google as a software engineer since 2007.

Then again, maybe they just need good photos of those new toys.

Source: Reddit - thanks, Kevin Kraft!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • sciwizam

    Not just reddit, right after SCHAFT won the DARPA Robotics challenge, he tweeted this:

    https://twitter.com/romainguy/status/414613369643999233
    "Schaft won the DRC trials, http://www.slashgear.com/google-owned-schaft-robot-wins-darpa-robotics-challenge-trials-21309711/ … I’m humbled to be working with those guys soon!"

    • HebeGuess

      I noticed it too.. Moreover his photography had given out he's been traveling in Japan around October, perhaps visiting SCHAFT.

  • fifarunnerr

    He already hinted the same a couple of weeks ago:

    https://plus.google.com/+RomainGuy/posts/1v2hhcsL9c4

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      He did but he could have just been happy for Andy. It's good to see a real confirmation without joking around or playing the hinting game.

  • AtiRage

    Ah shit, Google is building the Skynet :(

    • Android Developer

      Skynet isn't the robotics. it's just the software...

    • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

      No no, NEXUS-6.

    • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

      Skynet, the Matrix, the world from I, Robot... you name it. It's game over man, it's game over!

  • polo421

    Am I the only one just now learning Romain Guy was his real name? I just thought he liked salad....

    • Android Developer

      I thought it was just a nickname till i watched his lectures.
      BTW, since he is French, it's not really spelled "Guy", more like "gi" ('g' as in "guy" , 'i" as in "in") .
      Same goes to "Romain" - it's more like "Roma"

    • ari_free

      Yeah I'll do a little more research before simply assuming "Arugula Dude" and "Mr. Mesclun" are nicknames

  • Machine head

    A scene from Aliens 2 comes to mind, when Ripley harnesses into a robotic fork lift armour and starts doing some lifting. Wouldn't mind a job at a warehouse that had one of those.

  • Yizhaq Agronov

    Terminator 5 : the rise of Skynet!

  • theunknown

    The first time I got to know both Romain and Chet Hasse was not through Android, it was through Java when I brought and read their Book http://www.amazon.com/Filthy-Rich-Clients-Developing-Applications/dp/0132413930 which was released way back in 2007
    It's one book that helped me code better looking apps that functioned just as nicely.

  • telco

    does apple have a robotics team?
    i guess no... they're just for smartphones

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio royblumenthal

    Can someone PLEASE BRING BACK THE AIBO?

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