Google invests in Savioke, another robotics specialist
April 10, 2014 // 10:34 a.m.
Advertising giant Google is continuing to show an interest in the field of robotics, announcing its part in a $2 million (around £1.2 million) finance round by specialist Savioke.
Established in 2013, Savioke - "savvy oak," if you were wondering about pronunciation - specialises in autonomous robots for the services industry, developing technology to power everything from robot waiters to medical staff. Based in Sunnyvale, California, the company has raised its funding from a group comprised of AME Cloud Ventures, Morado Venture Partners and Google Ventures. While the advertising giant hasn't confirmed how much of the pot it is responsible for, previous moves by the company into robotics suggest it may be a major investor.
Although best known for its search engine technology, Google makes its profits from advertising. The company has recently been branching out into the hardware realm, however, investing in wearable computing - including its own Google Glass wearable computing platform and soon-to-launch Android Wear smartwatch ranges - and self-driving vehicles. This latter interest has spread into general robotics, with the company's venture capital arm investing in or outright acquiring more than eight robotics companies in the last twelve months.
'As the lines continue to blur between industrial and personal robotics industries, Google Ventures is thrilled to be working with an exceptional group of people at Savioke,' claimed Google Ventures general partner Andy Wheeler of the investment. 'Steve [Cousins, Savioke chief executive] and his team already have had a lot to do with moving the robotics industry forward. The next act promises to be even more revolutionary.'
'We are passionate about delivering easy-to-use yet sophisticated robots that can help people,' claimed Cousins, who previously acted as president and chief executive of robotics firm Willow Garage. 'Our goal is to improve the lives of people by developing and deploying robotic technology in service environments.'
Trials of Savioke's service robots are due to begin later this year.