Google invests in Silicon Valley robot-maker Savioke

Savioke has attracted funds before publicly revealing its first product

Tags: Google IncorporatedRobots
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Google invests in Silicon Valley robot-maker Savioke Savioke's founder, Steve Cousins previously helped launch the PR2 robot.
By  Helen Gaskell Published  April 10, 2014

Google is to buy a stake in a Silicon Valley-based robotics company that has yet to reveal its first product, the BBC reported.

Savioke, which was only established last year has not yet revealed its work to the public, but it has announced plans to begin customer trials of a service industry-targeted machine this year.

Steve Cousins, Savioke’s founder and chief executive, who previously helped launch the PR2 robot,  told the BBC: "We have decided that it is time for robots to become available widely in the service industry. We're not ready to quite disclose what we are going to be doing, but we believe the technology is ripe and this industry is largely untapped.

"There's a few examples of robots in hospitals that are extensions of a surgeon, but what we are looking at is a little bit more what people traditionally think of as robots - autonomous entities that can do things on their own and can help people out."

Although he declined to say which sectors would be targeted, his company's website lists hotels, elderly care facilities, hospitals and restaurants as possibilities.

Cousins was keen to stress that the deal involved Google Ventures - a unit that operates independently of the rest of the California-based company and whose stated goal is to fund the "best companies" rather than ones that are strategic to Google's other operations

Google has acquired eight other robotics companies outright over the past year, its latest investment is said to be relatively small but experts say that it should boost confidence in the sector.

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