Google is taking a cautious step back into the world of robotics

<em>A robotic arm of the type Google is using for research.</em>”  data-src=”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/HNiy8sWNFUUddD_Z4B5dsbfAM1c=/0x19:1600×1086/1310×873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63307930/Trelleborg_KSM0552_1600px.0.jpg”></p><p id=Google is reportedly “retooling” its troubled robotics efforts, according to a report from The New York Times. The new operation is simply named Robotics at Google and will be led by AI scientist Vincent Vanhoucke. According to the Times, Google is focusing on using machine learning to teach robots how to grasp objects and navigate environments, but it’s far from clear where the company’s ambitions in this area lie.

Although Google is a pioneer in AI research, its efforts in robotics have produced no commercial successes to date. The company’s last significant foray into the field started in 2013 with a program named “Replicant” led by Android co-founder Andy Rubin. An initial flurry of activity led to the purchase of six up-and-coming…

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