Nowadays, drones are invading in certain industries changing the way of doing business. In industries like transporting goods and medical supplies, they are a breakthrough optimizing the business advantages and costs (read my article on drones for a better insight http://digitalsocialstrategy.org/informationstrategy/2016/10/24/drone-ally-or-enemy/). Nevertheless, there are companies, like Google, recognizing the future in robots. From small and soft to big and costly, wheeled or with legs, robots are changing our lives the last 20 years.
In 2014, Google, the tech giant, acquired several small companies working on robotic problems. One of its acquisitions was Boston Dynamics founded in 1992 by Marc Raibert, a pioneer in the field of legged robotic locomotion. Later this week, Mr Raibert made a demonstration of the progress his company is making in the robotic industry. An engineer of the company showed their last development, a four-legged robot, Spot Mini, which has the size of a large dog. It is partially automated and is capable to do simple tasks like climbing stairs or opening doors. And this is just the top of the iceberg. Boston Dynamics has also developed robots capable of walking and running even in rough ground.
Nevertheless, Boston Dynamics’s next big deal will be to use machine learning in the robots to manipulate them from a great distance.Quadruped robots are already capable to move in every surface, like mud, snow or ice, and carry heavy objects. Thus, why not use them to deliver goods? The company is aiming to transform robots in the descendant of drones according to Mr. Raibert. “Many people are talking about drone delivery, so why not just plain legged robots?”, he stated in a recent conference. He also revealed some of the future visions including goals to make robots lighter and more energy-efficient.
Hence, the rivalry for the future of delivering goods has already started. Companies specialized in robotics, like Boston Dynamics, are already visualizing the future of delivery in robots. However, they still need time to start competing drones which are already functional and at the same time cost and energy efficient.