Alphabet says it is going to use robots to overtake some mundane tasks during the day-to-day running of its offices. Google’s parent company says the robots come from the X Moonshot Factory, which is a team dedicated to finding innovative technology to solve next-gen problems.
Moonshot Factory has been open since 2010 and perhaps the best-known product was the Google Glass smart glasses. Other projects include autonomous vehicles through Waymo, and special kites for sustainable wind energy.
In the latest effort, the X team at Moonshot Factory are developing robots that can open doors, wipe tables, and handle waste management. Alphabet says productivity can increase across organizations if these tasks are automated.
The company wants to place robots into office environments to see how they interact and work alongside humans.
X trained the robots using real office environments. This took four months at first, but the team says it can now train robots within a day with 90% accuracy.
“Over the last few years, we’ve been building an integrated hardware and software system that is designed for learning — including transferring learning from the virtual world to the real world. Our robots are equipped with a mix of different cameras and sensors to take in the world around them. Using a combination of machine learning techniques like reinforcement learning, collaborative learning, and learning from demonstration, the robots have steadily gained a better understanding of the world around them and become more skilled at doing everyday tasks.”
Alphabet will begin by rolling out the robots into its own offices at Mountain View. If the project is successful, the robots could one day come to offices of Google customers.
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