Google and It’s Robotic Operations


The Google Company signed a 60 year, 1.16 billion dollar lease to renovate three large hangars at a NASA airfield outside of San Francisco, to create a facility for research and development of robotics, aviation and space exploration. In a press release, NASA announced that “Planetary Ventures LLC, a shell organization operated by Google for real estate deals, will contribute $1.16 billion over the course of the lease, while reducing the government agency’s maintenance and operation costs by $6.3 million annually” (Lawler, 2014). Since 2013 Google acquired many companies that specialize in the production of robot, robotic technologies and other parts.  Some of these companies include Japan-based, Schaft Inc. which makes humanoid robots; US-based, Industrial Perception makes robot arms and robot vision or the Titan Aerospace in the US produces solar-powered drones. The reason why Google decided to make this investment in these facilities is due to the increased demand for industrial robots. This is a new market that is rising. Google took advantage of this, and decided to lease this site that provide Google an ability of greater production of industrial robots. The use of industrial robots that are connected to a control system enables companies to use apps to personalize the robots to perform specific tasks. In 2013 about 179,000 industrial robots were sold. Out of those 100,000 alone went to the Asian market. The largest current market for these robots is China.

The reason that there is a higher demand has to do with capacity. We talked specifically in class about capacity and determining capacity requirements. In this scenario, “a combination of rising wages and the need for new production capacity that can manufacture products to global standards is driving this demand” ( Banker, 2014). Google is an example of engaging in strategic capacity planning. They are matching capacity with the anticipated demand requirements which is the increasing demand of industrial robots in the global market. They probably asked themselves what kind of capacity they need and how much they need, which led them to decide to expand their headquarters. Google understands the technology and capacity increments. They understand the opportunity they have for change to dominate this new developing market. Therefore Google is targeting the Chinese market for industrial robots since they see the highest opportunities there. Google has already made plans to cooperate with Chinese contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn, who want to purchase 10,000 robots. Google is taking the right steps and engaging in long range planning, by addressing the needs of a new production capacity.

Do you think Google is doing a good job matching capacity with demand requirements? Do you agree with Google’s decisions to take over the operations at these facilities? Do you think robotics is in our near future?


Banker, Steve. “Google’s Robot Strategy.” Logistics Viewpoints Logistics Supply Chain and 3PL Executives RSS. N.p., 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <>

Gibbs, Samuel. “Google Leases Nasa Airbase for Robots, Planes and Space Exploration.” The Guardian. Guardian, 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <>.

Lawler, Ryan. “Google Takes Over Operations Of Moffett Airfield From NASA, Will Invest $200M Into The Site.” TechCrunch. N.p., 10 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.<>

13 thoughts on “Google and It’s Robotic Operations

  1. Great Post! I think is great that google saw the opportunity and took it. I think that in order to be a company that wants to continuously innovate, you need to take opportunities such as what google did. I think robotics is in our near future, is a little bit creepy to think about it but its coming.

  2. Great post Karolina! With the rate that technology is advancing, a move like this by Google was inevitable. Much of Google’s success can be accredited to them being one of the best companies in the world when it comes to predicting consumer demands and being prepared to meet them. The thought of robotics in the future does make me feel somewhat uneasy; not because I think they are going to take over the world, but I do worry about the jobs that they will take from people. However, I don’t think this is going to stop robotics from being used. I see many of the tech giants, especially Google, making many more moves like this in the near future as demand continues to skyrocket even more than it already has. Thanks again for a great post!

  3. Very interesting post, haven’t heard about this until now. It’s not surprising that Google was the one to get this opportunity. With the advancement of technology every day and the possibility of robotics in our near future I can definitely see the market that Google is trying to get ahead on. I think they’re doing a great job at matching capacity with demand. They found a place where it is needed and already have a Chinese manufacturer wanting 10,000 units.

  4. I have followed Google’s innovation for a long . I like their motto of do no evil. Robotics and nano- technology is the future. To be honest Google wouldn’t invest that much capital into this project if they didn’t forecast that there would be that much demand in the future. But this is why Google will outlast most of the tech companies they have diversified and expanded their interests into many fields.

  5. Wow! This was a very interesting post. I personally love Google. I think that they are a great company and innovate and excel in so many aspects. I truly think that thins was a smart decision on Google’s end; so I completely agree with their decision. I think that advanced robotics are just around the corner. I can clearly recall the Tesla warehouse from class and that was just one example of how much robotics has advanced and they will continue to advance. I think this is the era and the time for advancement and I think Google will be that company to provide the world with advanced robotics and that is just their beginning.

  6. Such an interesting post! I personally never knew that Google did this successful and cleaver move! As we learned in class, technology is advancing pretty fast! For example, the Tesla Manufacture uses mostly robots to build their cars. There will be more use of robots in more places in the near future. This move that Google did is really strategic as well. It might not gain that much profit right now, but it will be eventually be a high demand.

  7. This post was a great read. I think it is a very smart idea for Google to acquire companies that specialize in Robots. This helps them in multiple ways. They can use the technology that these companies possess and also make a lot of money in the process. I also think its great how you related Google using strategic capacity planning to what we talked about in class. It is also very interesting how Google sees a huge opportunity with China. The fact that Foxconn want to purchase 10,000 robots is something to take note of for the future.

  8. I found this post very interesting! One would never think of Google as a robotics company, but I’m not surprised that such a large company as Google has branched into a market such as robotics. I believe the management of Google sees a huge opportunity in robotics and since they have the necessary capital and ability to acquire robotic companies and the top specialists in that field creates a huge advantage for them. Because of the huge investment, entry into this market would be very hard except for a few large companies out there. It will be interesting to see what companies are in the same process and see what lengths they’ve gone in trying to get in the robotics market.

  9. I see that you are talking about robotics and how that can improve production. I think it is a great way to improve the process but every situation is different in that some processes should still be performed by human beings. If we continue to advance ourselves, who will be able to supply jobs to our fastly growing population? With operations such as welding in car production facilities or building microchips I can understand the need for robots. But they are testing/using robots even for surgery now and I think that is something that only the human brain can work through.

  10. Google seems like a different kind of company. Over the years they grew from a simple web search company to buying youtube and now with their many billions of dollars are investing in futuristic products like space exploration, driver-less cars and now (which I just learned) robotics. I think google is doing a good job managing capacity and demand and I think they are going to be a major player in the robotics market. Having a robot butler sounds like a good idea to me.

  11. I understand that we are beginning to live in a world that is becoming predominantly advanced in technology and I do believe that robotics is most likely what the next 10 years is going to be all about. Google knows this a fact, because they are one of the major companies that have invested greatly in robotics, and as we know Google was one of the first to invent that self driven “Google Car” which is basically a car that drives itself. So yes Google definitely know what they are doing in terms of what coming next. My only concern is will robotics become so advanced that they will eventually take over our jobs?

  12. Google is thinking way ahead of most companies. I believe one of their strategy is to create an efficient world & that’s why they are moving to robotics. I think they need to expand and have HDQ’s in a different locations across the world in order for them to focus on the regional demand.

  13. There is an increase in demand for industrial robots, and Google has tapped into this market. Asia has a large demand for industrial robots with 100,000 out of 179,000 sold to the continent in 2013 only. To match this demand, Google has increased their production capacity by acquiring hangars at NASA airfield for research and development of robotics. Google is doing a nice job matching capacity with demand. They have acquired several companies that focus on producing robots and robotic technologies. The acquisitions and leasing of the hangars have increased Google’s capacity to produce industrial robots. The decision to take over the companies is pertinent in researching and producing the robots. Acquiring the companies will ensure Google can meet the rising demand especially in China. Robotics is our near future considering the rapid technological advances. They widely assist in areas such as construction and hospitals among many other places. In some countries, robots are assisting in surgical procedures. Due to the technological advances the world is brought to us, robots are better innovations of what is already existent. Google’s enormous investment in the future of robots is good considering that is where the world is headed.

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