Foreign Policy Blogs

Google tentatively enters the Military Industrial Complex


Two “BigDog” robots trot around. (by Lance Cpl. M. L. Meier./U.S. Marine Corps)

Last Friday, December 13, Google announced its acquisition of Boston Dynamics, a prominent robotics manufacturer. Boston Dynamics is most famous for producing robots resembling animal-like quadrapeds and bipeds with remarkable agility and balance.

Despite a streak of other robotics company acquisitions in the past half year, Google’s purchase of Boston Dynamics is significant in that Boston Dynamics has thus far never contracted commercially, and has mostly served as a contractor to the Pentagon. In fact, the company still has several outstanding military contracts, which Google has pledged to uphold. Although Google has in effect entered the realm of military contracting, executives have indicated that beyond upholding existing contracts they have no intention in engaging in further military contracting.

Check out one of Boston Dynamics’ latest projects, the WildCat, in action.



Eugene Steinberg

Eugene graduated Tufts University with degrees in International Relations and Quantitative Economics. He works with the editorial team at the Foreign Policy Association on Great Decisions 2014. He is deeply interested in Eastern European affairs, as well as the intersection of politics, technology, and culture. You can follow him on twitter @EugSteinberg