What Are Google’s Plans for Its Growing Robot Army?

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Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg West Editor-at-Large Cory Johnson and Paul Saffo, managing director at Discern Analytics, examine Google’s buying spree that is consolidating the robot-making market on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”


Google is doing these acquisitions of robotic companies and no one knows what they will do.

Robots are cool.

They are cool and silly.

Look at this one.

That is my dog.

That is my dog.

You guys do not have dos like that in new york?

In silicon valley, everyone has dogs like that.

That is why we live in new york.

So, we do not know what google is doing with these.

We might look at it as akin to what they are doing with driverless cars.

Advertising, not robotics talks.

Let's bring you into this conversation.

What do you think google will do now that it appears to be consolidating the robotics business?

Google is taking a very long-term view on this.

For example, the dynamics robots, while they are plenty scary to see the videos, they have serious issues about how you para were them -- power them and the like.

You do not have to worry as you are being chased by a google robotic cheetah.

Google takes a long view.

Think about the history of street view.

Launched back in 2007, but they acquired keyhole years earlier.

This is something they are looking out a decade or more.

At what?

What do they want to be in the robotics business?

Let's focus on what we see today.

These scary robotic dogs will get a lot of conversation around the dinner table at christmas.

What we have today is robots slipping into our lives unnoticed all over the place.

The first ones are in the air.

The faa has got a congressional mandate to allow robotic unmanned aircraft in our airspace by 2015. so, people will see these in the air and they will and have already seen specialty robots that do narrow tasks.

If you look at what is going on with robots today, just pull the string out and you see a rapid increase in capability and function.

By the time we get scary looking google robots, everyone will shrug and say, what took you so long?

The thing we like, i think why we are interested in these things is the answer -- anthropomorphizing ones.

We do not think about robust in vacuum cleaners.

We are looking for the ones that look like our dogs and cheetahs.

That is the thing that gets fascination.

Are their true business case is being developed be on drones?


While we are peering at the anthropomorphic prototypes, the non-anthropomorphic ones are sneaking up to surprise us in the business space.

Robots that do not look like humans are taking over narrowly defined tasks that are dangerous or boring and that humans do not particularly want to do, everything from the little machines that move papers and drugs around the hospitals, to robotic manufacturing, and foxconn three years ago announced it would have one million robots in the company and what they are doing is ringing in an interesting looking robots that do a lot of precise things humans used to do.

How would google reviews them?

Google is an advertising company.


In the same way amazon is a book company.

Google is about collecting information and turning that information into useful purposes.

We can only guess at what the other things are doing.

They are huge and robotic car development.

Larry page was supposed to be focusing google in the way the chairman was not able to.

This does not feel like focused to me.

I have got to agree.

I think it is interesting comparing the keyhole acquisition.

There was a private company that became the basis of google earth.

What did that lead to?

To google having the best mapping function out there of any of the companies trying to do mapping stuff.

Google has a thing with employees where they have 20% of the time they can spend on passion projects that might lead to something.

This may be an outgrowth of that . it looks like an expansion pack -- expensive passion.

Right now, google is throwing off a lot of passion to do things like this.

Larry has really shut down a lot of these other kinds of companies, including a 180 person research facility in australia they completely shut down, which means australia is one of the hottest in the world right now because there are so many google people out there with big ideas.

Great to get both of your insights on the topic.

Special thanks on the phone with a managing director and our own cory johnson, bloomberg west editor at large.

I was kidding about my dog.

My dog is a black lab named there.

-- "bear." very good.

When we come back, we will not talk about cory's dog or robotic cheetahs.

We will talk about how apple and disney are taking advantage of record low interest rates to buy their own stock.

We will have that coming up next.

? welcome back.

It is the buyback bonanza.

Everyone from apple to ibm is on board.

The number of companies buying their own stock back make up more of the u.s. equity market than ever before.

Olivia sterns is here with more.

What is driving this trend?

Definitely low interest rates.

They are borrowing the money to finance the share buybacks.

The other reason is the catch.

You were always breaking activist investor stories.

They are pressuring big companies to push -- put the cash to work their the best example, apple.

Einhorn is putting on what -- pushing on what apple did.

They borrow money because of low rates.

That was the biggest money to ever borrow for a buyback until rise in, selling $49 billion worth of debt because of these low rates.

Class how could the fed's decision this week influence what companies are doing apoplexy speak to money managers and a lot of them think the trend will continue because if we look at apple, the cash piles have not been dented that much.

They sit on a lot of cash.

Low rates are expected to continue.

Taber is pulling back the pace at which we are buying bonds.

Rates are expected to stay low.

The other issue is valuations.

If you look historically, a lot of these stocks are still cheap.

The p/e ratio is still 16.7. that is the highest level in four years.

Historically, that is pretty cheap.

Companies a -- are expected to keep buying back their stocks.

Investors love it when companies return surplus cash earning nothing.

Many would prefer they get it in dividends as opposed to stock i back.

The dividend gives the investor the choice of what to do it the money.

The buyback is management's inter -- determination about the underlying value of equity.

Grade-point point.

You have seen a lot hiked dividends.

When you are one of these ceos looking at your options, you have to think about the broader economy.

It decelerated in the u.s.. if you sit on a lot of cash, you have seen a lot of great investment opportunities to build your business.

Ettore to be sitting on cash than not.

Thank you so much for giving us the update for the buyback bonanza across corporate america.

We are approaching 26 minutes past the hour.

Time for on the markets.

We begin by showing you what is happening.

The dow is still up more than 150 points.

Investors increasingly anticipate the fed may begin to taper quantitative easing this wednesday.

Supporting evidence today, u.s. industrial production climbing the most in a year.

Manufacturing across the pond in europe, a 31 month high in the month of december.

I like companies that keep it sexy -- semiconductors.

In the second-biggest semiconductor deal of the year, average no agrees to buy for 6.6 billion dollars.

Stockholders will receive 11.15. $11 per share in cash.

It is soaring on this news.

Go is also rising.

Semiconductors are feeling it.

A big day.

When we come back, one company can make all the businesses work.

We will talk with the ceo.

Your tuition dollars at work.

Wait until you hear how much college presidents are making these days.

They are rolling in the big.

Streaming on your phone and tablet and bloomberg.com.


This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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