Google Invests in Robot-Maker Savioke
Google has made an investment in the robotics company based in Silicon Valley, which has yet to release its first product in the market. Savioke has announced its plans for initiating customer trials of a machine targeting the service industry this year, even though it continues to keep its work under wraps. Over the past year, eight other robotics companies have been acquired by Google outright. Even though the latest investment is relatively small, experts have said that it is likely to boost confidence in the particular sector. Seed finance of about $2 million has been disclosed by Savioke, which also includes cash obtained from other sources along with an undisclosed sum given by Google Ventures, the investment arm of the search engine giant.
It was only last year that Savioke was established. However, Steve Cousins, its chief executive, has had previous experience in this same sector because he has launched the PR2 robot. This machine was developed for robotics software developers for helping them in trying out their code. Mr. Cousins said that they have made the decision that robotics should be widely available to the service industry now. He said that they wouldn’t disclose their plans and activities, but the industry’s potential was still untapped and the technology was also ripe.
He added that few robots could be found in hospitals that served the function of extensions of a surgeon, but he said that they intend to break out from the traditional concept of robots and create entities that would be able to help people by doing tasks on their own. Although he did not mention the sectors they intended to target, the website of the company lists elderly care facilities, hotels, restaurant and hospitals and possibilities. The CEO was also keen to state that Google Ventures was also part of the deal, which is a unit of the search engine giant, but operates independently from the rest of the firm.
Mr. Cousins mentioned that the aim of Google Ventures was to provide funding to the best companies instead of the ones that were helpful to Google’s operations. However, the previous stake of Google Ventures in Nest had resulted in the California-based company paying an additional amount of $3.2 billion for adding the smart-thermostat maker to its business. Mr. Cousins said that they couldn’t ignore the possibility that his company could follow the same route in the future. He said that their primary purpose was to introduce robots that could help people.
Therefore, he wasn’t concerned much about their ‘exit strategy’ as long as they accomplish their goal. Amazon preceded Google’s interest in the robotics industry. Amazon had bought Kiva Systems in 2012 by paying a sum of $775 million. This company makes specialists robots that are designed for moving goods in warehouses. According to venture capitalists, the actions of these two big technology companies have also incited the interest of other firms. According to analysts, the robotics industry has become quite exciting since Google and Amazon have expressed their interest in it.