Google doesn’t keep its love for the world of technology a secret. Their devotion to projects within the open source community, their branching into new fields, and their constant creation of more powerful tools should be enough to show us that. However, over the last couple months, Google has been giving a special amount of love to one particular segment of the technological world: our robot friends.
According to a report on the Google Research Blog, Google started their robotics project back in October. While the company’s employees certainly have plenty of core tasks to work on, each also receives what’s known as “20% time” — time that they can devote to any Google project, including pet projects that Google management doesn’t even have to check off.
In October, Google encouraged interested employees to pool their 20% time for “soldering and hacking” on projects that would integrate Google’s own Android system with robotics, allowing control of our metallic allies through the cloud. Now, after three months of hard work, three of these projects have come to fruition.
App Inventor Bluetooth Integration: The Android app inventor now has limited support for bluetooth connection with many serialed robots, and more in-depth support for LEGO MINDSTORMS (one of Google’s partners on this project).
Cellbots for Android: An application available on the Android marketplace, crafted in Java, that allows greater support and flexibility on Cellbots projects.
An Upgraded Python Library: To make the Cellbots project possible, a python library update was needed — and, of course, created. This open source Python library opens gateways for the robotics community.
While the Google team members certainly worked hard on the project, they also had plenty of fun with it. The official report tells us, “We gathered around every Thursday night, rigging up a projector against the wall to share our week’s worth of demos while chowing on pizza.”