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Google's former head of Android now running its robotics group: report

J.K. Shin (R), President and head of mobile communications business from Samsung, and Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Google Mobile, un
J.K. Shin (R), President and head of mobile communications business from Samsung, and Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Google Mobile, un

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc has quietly acquired more than a half-dozen companies for a new robotics groups led by Andy Rubin, formerly in charge of Google's popular mobile software, according to a report in the New York Times on Wednesday.

The new group is focusing on developing robotic technology that can be used in factories, rather than developing robots intended for consumers, the report said.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

Google Chief Executive Larry Page wrote on his official Google+ profile page on Wednesday that it was still "early days" for the robotics project, but that he was looking forward to seeing the progress.

Rubin was formerly in charge of Google's Android mobile operating system, which is now used on roughly 80 percent of the world's smartphones. Rubin stepped down from that role in March to focus on unspecified other projects.

Among the companies Google has acquired for the new robotics group are Schaft, a small team of robot experts who recently left Tokyo University and Bot & Dolly, which makes robotic camera systems, according to the report.

The group will be based in Palo Alto, Calif., with an office in Japan.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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