January 25, 2016

3 Google Projects I Bet You Didn’t Know About

Some of Google's secret projects! Photo courtesy from Mother Nature Beauty.
By Nick K.
It is common knowledge among the business and internet world that industry leaders must keep improving and strive to be one step ahead of the competition. This is obviously much easier said than done, like most pieces of advice in life.

Although for a company such as Google, now Alphabet, they make this process of always being ahead of their competition come naturally to them. Google has always been there when it comes to being at the forefront of making innovative changes in technology and advancing how our world views technology.

Like the popular quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” which has been coined by many movies and political leaders, Google has led the tech industry in integrating their technology into daily life. From making the Internet more accessible across the world with Project Loon, to their new real-time, 3D motion and depth sensing technology for mobile devices, Project Tango. Google always seems to have some new project or plans for innovative technology.

That being said, the Tek Team has collaborated to research three projects you didn’t know Google had a hand in. Take a look for yourself to see if you have heard of any of these innovative Google projects. 

Multifunctional Robots
Starting off our list is Google’s Boston Dynamics, which is a highly-advanced robotics company that builds mobile robots. Google acquired Boston Dynamics back in 2013 to provide funding to the company and allow further research to be conducted.

It’s simply incredible what these Boston Dynamics robots are capable of doing. The robots have mobility, agility, speed, and dexterity capabilities! As of today, Boston Dynamics has nine robots functioning. Some of which include Atlas –The Agile Anthropomorphic Robot, RiSE – The Amazing Climbing Robot, CHEETAH – Fastest Legged Robot, and BigDog – The Most Advanced Rough-Terrain Robot on Earth.

The Boston Dynamic robotic line-up. Photo courtesy of Before It's News!

Each of these robots has one specific purpose, whether it be CHEETAH being designed for high speeds that reach above 28 mph, or the BigDog being able to navigate and conquer any type of terrain in the world. It is so fascinating to see robots moving on their own in the natural environment and it’ll will be interesting to see how robotic technology can be integrated into our daily lives, in the future.  

Lunar Base Robot Project
Staying with the theme of robots, Google has been funding a project called Google Lunar XPRIZE, which we have previously talked about a couple of months ago. It is essentially a project/competition that Google has created to encourage space entrepreneurs to create new ways to reach the moon via lunar rovers. Google Lunar XPRIZE was started back in 2007 in hopes to revamp the public’s interest in exploring the moon.

Photo courtesy of Google Lunar Xprize!

The best part about entering this competition is that the cash prize is over $30 million to the team that is able to successfully land their privately-funded rover on the moon and transmit back HD images and video to Earth. The rover to travel at least 500 meters on the moon. Sounds simple enough, right?

Energy Kites
Google, more specifically Google X, has been busy on their quest to find more environmentally friendly and easier methods to create clean, green energy.  To help Google X achieve their goal, the division has acquired a company called Makani Energy. Makani Energy creates “energy kites,” which are efficient wind turbines that can be created using fewer materials than traditional turbines. Makani Energy’s goal is to make clean energy accessible across the world.   

The Energy Kite in action! Photo courtesy of Tech Insider.

What makes these energy kites interesting is the way they are designed. They have a plane-like device with wings and wind rotors, much like a model airplane has, except the device is attached to string. The full system is made up of four simple part; the kite itself, a tether to transfer the wind energy, a ground station generator to gather the energy, and a computer system to ensure the system is functioning properly.

The future of Google’s technology will be fascinating to see for this list was only a small sample of projects compared to the amount of companies that Google has acquired to help its tech products stay ahead of the competition. Google has shown time and time again that they want to continue to improve and make things more accessible to consumers. It will be fun to see what projects Google will come up with next!

Was there a Google project or program that you have heard of that was not mentioned? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below! 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent read! Just put an energy kite on BigDog and fly him to the moon! Nick K. you better get on that!!