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The Astro, Amazon’s home robot, powered by Alexa’s technology can interrupt your privacy.

Astro, Amazon’s first home robot , is powered by Alexa technology, Amazon ‘s smart home technology. When not at home, the robot – a tablet on wheels about the size of a small dog – may be remotely operated to check on pets, humans, or home security. It also monitors a house on its own and notifies users if it detects something strange. Astro is roughly 50 cm tall and has three wheels that allow him to move around. It can map your house and respond to voice commands, delivering all of Alexa’s features to a mobile companion that can follow you everywhere you go owing to its wheels. The robot , for example, can assist family members or the elderly in maintaining frequent contact with their loved ones via video chats or even organizing a beat-boxing party. The robot includes a periscope arm that allows it to interact with items like knobs and buttons in a limited fashion, as well as a system of cameras that allows it to navigate the house while avoiding obstacles. Customers may switch off cameras, microphones, and movements by pressing the microphones or cameras-off button at any time. Astro is unable to move or record video or audio while this button is pushed, and a dedicated red LED illuminates to match the red status indication on the screen. You can even use Astro as a surveillance camera to keep an eye on what’s happening in your house while you’re away, thanks to his computer vision. Astro doesn’t appear to be able to play with your pets just yet, but they can check to see whether your dog has trashed your sofa or if your cat is napping on the uppermost shelf due to a special periscope camera. Astro, too, has promised to safeguard your privacy, according to Amazon . Owners will be able to establish limits zones that tell Astro where it isn’t permitted to travel, as well as use “do not disturb” capabilities to limit Astro’s mobility during specific times of the day, in addition to all of Alexa technology’s regular privacy safeguards. Astro is not the first home robot on the market, but it is the first that has a chance of succeeding since it incorporates numerous characteristics that have been extensively tested in other Amazon goods. Amazon has given it a face in an attempt to persuade us that it is a pleasant AI companion rather than the data-harvesting dystopian nightmare bot that it is. This creature is wicked, and it must be exterminated. Astro’s icy, glaring synthetic eyes aren’t endearing. Astro is a sci-fi nightmare that comes true. Imagine turning around and finding it sitting there silently watching you, waiting for an order, with those enormous circular eyes piercing straight into your soul. A surveillance gadget with a face has a menacing aura about it. Astro is “awful,” a “disaster not suitable for release,” and “possibly hazardous,” according to developers who reportedly worked on the robot and spoke anonymously to Vice. According to one source, facial recognition technology is “at best inaccurate,” making the “in-home security offer ludicrous.” According to another source, the home robot is far more delicate than its high retail price suggests, with the camera mast regularly being stuck in position and it “almost definitely throwing itself down a flight of stairs.” Maybe, Astro is helpful to such an extent, but it can interrupt your privacy.

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Jibo Creator Cynthia Breazeal Is Building A Robot For Every Home

When NASA’s Sojourner rover landed on Mars in 1997, Cynthia Breazeal remembers thinking, “We can send robots to space, but we still don’t have ones that can ‘live’ beside us.” What’s up with that? She set out to find the answer, and in the process, pioneered the field of social robotics. This spring, Breazeal will begin shipping Jibo, the world’s first companion bot for the home, and the pinnacle of her 18-year endeavor. Breazeal recently spoke to Popular Science about how robots will become family members, guarding the home, and reading us bedtime stories.

How did you get into robotics?

The first time I really became aware of robots was when I saw Star Wars. I was 10 years old, and I was in the theater. Seeing R2-D2 and C-3PO—that was really the moment. I just fell in love with them.

It seems like we should have seen a companion robot by now.

Until recently, roboticists haven’t been focused on building robots for nontechnical people. It’s almost like when the computer industry was building really big, expensive computers that only experts could use. Eventually, people started thinking about putting a computer in every home so anyone could use it. It’s the same challenge, building a robot everyone can operate.

How do you begin to solve that problem?

In order to design robots that match people’s expectations, we must understand how people interact with new technology. We’ve learned that our brains intuit robots as creatures. Now, we are exploring how people interact with autonomous robots. That’s social robotics—the field I’m credited for pioneering.

How is Jibo different from other robots?

The robotic products today are designed to do only one thing. For example, when you buy a Roomba, it’s a vacuum, and that’s all it does. We’ve positioned Jibo as a versatile companion, one that offers utility with the warmth of a meaningful interaction.

What exactly can it do?

Jibo is a platform. Developers can build applications using any of Jibo’s features, including voice-recognition software, cameras, and touchscreen. So Jibo can be a photographer, it can help with home security, it can read stories to your children, it can be a learning companion for your children, it can help you maintain an exercise program.

Why is this possible only now?

Because of mobile devices: Processor speeds, networking speeds, battery life, display technology, sensing technology—all of these things continue to increase in capability while prices decrease. With that, things like speech recognition, cloud computing, and machine learning have been maturing as well. These are all part of building a sophisticated social robot.

Do our homes really need more gadgets?

Jibo is a community experience. Jibo can look at me and talk to me, and look at my kids and talk to my kids. We can use Jibo together. We don’t have to feel like there’s something competing for our focused attention the way a phone screen does. We can have a group dynamic, and you still are engaged with the people around you. You’re not pushing people away, the way that our current devices do. It’s a very different experience.

Do you see a Jibo in every home?

Yeah, of course that’s the goal. In the same way that, back in the day, the goal of every PC business was to put a computer on every desk, our goal is to put a social robot in every home. And I think the way that our smartphones and laptops are already ubiquitous, social robots are going to be ubiquitous soon.

This article was originally published in the January/February 2024 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Designing The Robot Next Door.”

How To Choose The Best Robot Vacuum For Your Home

While you might have been limited to just a few brands years ago, choosing the best robot vacuum for your home means comparing dozens of brands and types. Today, robot vacuums handle vacuuming, mopping, and even empty themselves. You can also pick a vacuum based on your needs, such as just hardwood floors or pets. Whatever your needs, this guide will help you narrow your search.

Types of Robot Vacuums

Despite the name, these cleaning assistants often do more than just vacuum. Before you start your search, think about the type of robot vacuum you need.

Image source: Unsplash

Vacuum only – if you’re looking for just a basic machine to get up dirt and debris, this is perfect. These are the cheapest options available to only vacuum. Some models may only work on hardwood floors, but most vacuum-only robots handle both carpets and hardwood floors.

Mop only – if vacuuming isn’t really a big deal for you, you may prefer a robot vacuum that just mops. These are usually reserved for more heavy-duty mopping and feature larger water tanks than dual vacuum + mop models.

Vacuum + mop – as the name implies, it does both. The only downside is that you’ll need to switch between modes and set zones to prevent these vacuums from trying to mop your carpets and rugs.

Self-emptying. – if you want a set-it-and-forget-it type of robot vacuum, you may want to splurge on a self-emptying model. These can clean your home multiple times before you have to empty the bin that’s connected to the charging base.

Hands-free – with standard vacuum + mop models, you have to connect the mop pad, manually switch modes when you just want to vacuum, and set up zones to ensure your carpets don’t get wet. A hands-free model like the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ can do all that without any intervention from you. It can detect carpets, automatically lifts the mop pad out of the way, and only mops on hard floors. Plus, it empties itself.

While those are the main options, you’ll also need to think about all the other features you might need to have onboard.

Common Robot Vacuum Features

Once you have the type picked out, it’s time to start looking at the various features. While some models are barebones and offer basic suction at a low price, others offer features you didn’t even know you might need.

Image source:

Pexels

The best robot vacuum includes all the features you could want and maybe a few extras:

A self-emptying bin – while not a necessity, if you have a larger home or pets, you may want a self-emptying model. The number of times the vacuum empties depends on the size of the dust bin. You could go from having to empty your vacuum daily to just weekly.

Intelligent mapping – if you want the most efficient vacuuming possible, opt for intelligent mapping. This feature scans your room to create the best map for your room. After an initial mapping period, the vacuum follows its chosen map. This can enlarge the size of an area that is cleaned before the battery gets low.

Object collision avoidance – for most homeowners, this is kind of a must. The last thing you want is scuff marks and scratches all over your furniture because the vacuum bangs into it. With this feature, the vacuum identifies an object in the way and moves around it. On pet-friendly models, this can also include pet accidents so that you’re not trying to scrub excrement out of the brush roll.

Navigates different floors with ease – this feature lets your robot vacuum go from carpets to hard floors, to rugs, and back again with ease. Some of the top models don’t even roll up rug edges. This is ideal for higher pile carpets and homes where there’s a slight dip or step up to move to the next room.

In-app options – the vacuum companion app is incredibly important. It should allow you to set zones and/or rooms, set schedules, manually navigate, switch between modes, adjust suction and water levels, and see the latest cleaning times. Most robot vacuums are compatible with both iOS and Android, so that’s not really a concern anymore.

Voice control – another handy feature to have is voice assistant control. While you can always use the app, being able to tell your voice assistant you want to clean up a mess is even easier. Most robot vacuums that support voice control support both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. However, some models, such as the Roborock S7 and Roborock S4, offer Siri support.

Camera – this is most often found on robot vacuums designed for pet homes. Think of it as a roving security camera. Easily check in on your home while the vacuum is docked or cleaning.

Tangle-free brushes – some robot vacuums come with multiple rollers: one with a brush and one without, also known as a tangle-free brush. These are popular in pet homes so that you don’t have to pick tangled pet hair out of the brush.

Tip: did you know that you can use Google Assistant even with your phone locked? We show you how.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Before we start recommending the best robot vacuum for different situations, there are a few more things to consider. First, you should think about battery life. Overall, this isn’t much of a concern for smaller homes, as the average robot vacuum can easily handle several rooms before needing to return to charge.

If you have a larger home, you’ll want to look for vacuums that can handle a larger square footage per charge. Otherwise, your vacuum might spend a lot of time going back and forth to the charger each time it cleans.

Image source: Ecovacs

The second thing you’ll want to keep in mind is suction power. A general average is 2,000Pa to 4,000Pa, though some are slightly more powerful. For instance, the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni offers 5,000Pa. But the higher the suction power, the less it can clean between charges. Usually, robot vacuums let you choose between different suction levels based on your needs.

A final consideration is integration with your smart home. While many robot vacuums do connect via Wi-Fi, some cheaper models and even a few higher-priced models don’t. If you want the vacuum to work with your smart home, ensure you get a Wi-Fi capable vacuum that also works with your chosen platform, such as Amazon, Google, or Apple.

Robot Vacuum for Different Needs

While the top brands include Roomba, Roborock, Ecovacs, and Xiaomi, they’re not the only options. However, they do tend to break out the most innovative features first. In what follows, we take a look at some of the best options available on the market, based on specific needs.

Best Robot Vacuums for Carpets

If you’re mainly interested in cleaning carpets and rugs, you might want to consider the following models:

iRobot Roomba s9+

With two brushes, including one that’s tangle-free and powerful suction, the iRobot Roomba S9+ is perfect for carpets and pet homes. Featuring multi-stage cleaning and fast floor detection, it can easily change the suction power based on carpet or hardwood floors. It can also empty itself into the main bin for up to 60 days.

Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+

Powerful suction and the ability to detect carpets to avoid mopping them make the Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ a great choice. It doubles the suction when carpets are detected and empties itself. If you want a great two-in-one, this is a great mid- to high-range model.

Shark RV1001AE IQ Robot Self-Empty XL

If you have longer hair or pets and hate constantly cleaning the brushroll, the Shark RV1001AE IQ Self-Empty XL could be your best choice. It empties itself for up to 45 days and has a self-cleaning brushroll. Of course, it also has powerful suction, capable of handling both small and large debris.

If you’re looking to get a security camera instead, check out our recommendations that will complement your smart home.

Best Robot Vacuums for Mopping

If you mainly have hardwood or need more powerful mopping, you may want to consider:

iRobot Braava Jet M6

The iRobt Braava Jet M6 is strictly for mopping. It can handle ultra-sticky messes, grease, and spills with ease. Its thin size lets it go under furniture to take care of spills that leak to your chairs, tables, and couches.

Roborock S7

While the Roborock S7 handles both vacuuming and mopping, its sonic mopping technology uses the power of sound to better clean your floors. By scrubbing your floor up to 3,000 times per minute, even the toughest spills and dirt are mopped up.

Bissell SpinWave Hard Floor Expert Robot Best Robot Vacuums for Pets

Most robot vacuums will pick up pet hair, but some do it better than others, such as:

iRobot Roomba j7+

This is the vacuum-only model of the j7+ mentioned earlier. However, incredible suction and the ability to identify pet accidents make the iRobot Roomba j7+ ideal for pet homes. A three-stage clean offers up to 10 times the dirt-lifting power.

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni

While it’s one of the more expensive models, the Evovacs Deebot X1 Omni has some of the most powerful suction around. It not only removes pet hair easily but also identifies obstacles and mops up muddy footprints.

Eufy RobotVac G30

If you need a quieter robot vacuum, Eufy has you covered with the RobotVac G30. Not only does it provide a quiet clean, but it automatically adjusts the suction based on the surface. Plus, it’s a great budget-friendly model.

Budget Considerations

Obviously, budget may be a major consideration when finding the best robot vacuum. The good news is that you can get a great vacuum starting at less than $200 if you look for deals, such as Black Friday or Prime Days.

Usually, lower-priced models don’t have quite as many features, but often they clean just as well as their higher-priced counterparts. You might have to forgo Wi-Fi connectivity and smart home integration, self-emptying bins, and less sophisticated navigation.

A few great budget-friendly robot vacuums include the Eufy RoboVac 11S for $230 and the Roborock E4 for $188. The Eufy doesn’t have Wi-Fi or an app. It’s remote control only. However, the cheaper Roborock E4 features an app and Wi-Fi connectivity. Both clean well, but the Roborock vacuums and mops.

If you’re okay spending a little more, most of the options previously mentioned retail for over $500. One of the most expensive ones we’ve listed is the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni for $1,550. The iRobot Roomba j7+ (vacuum-only model) comes in at $800.

Just remember, paying a little less doesn’t mean you’re getting a lower-quality robot vacuum. In conclusion, look for great deals and you can often score high-price robot vacuums for significantly less. Or, opt for a lower-priced model that offers most of the features you want.

Good to know: have a Google or Amazon display at home? Learn how to easily turn it into a digital photo frame.

Get Inspired

At Make Tech Easier, we’ve put a variety of robot vacuums to the test so that you don’t have to. Check out some of our recent reviews to see if any of these great options are right for you:

Frequently Asked Questions Can any robot vacuums handle stairs?

Not yet. However, most do have fall avoidance technology to prevent them from falling down stairs.

How well do robot vacuums handle corners and edges?

Some robot vacuums handle edges and corners better than others. Look for models that specifically state “edge cleaning” for the best results.

Image credit: Unsplash

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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Microsoft & Openai To Create A New Ecology Of Chat Robot Plugins

Using plugins, chatbots like Bing Chat and ChatGPT can expand their capacity and gain access to more data sources. Since March of this year, OpenAI has backed the ChatGPT plugin. Microsoft has now committed to supporting the same open standard. This will provide developers and clients with greater options for creating and using plugins across platforms.

At the Build event, Microsoft also unveiled a number of new features related to AI. In addition to plug-in interaction, it also has Copilot apps for Windows 11, changes to the Microsoft Store’s AI section, plug-ins for the Microsoft 365 Copilot platform, and some more features.

Microsoft & OpenAI

: A New Ecology of Chat Robot Plugins

In recent years, chat robots have become more popular as a good and new way for brands to interact with their users. Microsoft and OpenAI have come together to develop a new ecology of chat robot plugins. These plugins could change the game in the world of robotics and natural language processing. This article will explore the design principles and model abilities of ChatGPT for robotics. We will also look at the presence of Azure OpenAI Service, along with the potential for using chatbots based on ChatGPT in a secure manner using Microsoft Teams, Power Virtual Agent, and Azure OpenAI.

ChatGPT for 

Robotics: Design Principles

 and Model Abilities Gizchina News of the week

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These principles include special prompting structures, high – level APIs, and a focus on the robot’s operating environment. It also adds how its physical actions can change the state of the world. ChatGPT provides a new paradigm for robotics. This allows a non – technical user to provide high – level feedback to the large language model (LLM) while the robot is in operation. This style is in contrast to regular robotics, which relies heavily on hand – written code to control robots. ChatGPT unlocks a new robotics paradigm, which is less complex, much cheaper, and more efficient.

General Presence of Azure OpenAI Service

ChatGPT is a fine – tuned version of GPT-3.5, which has been trained and runs inference on Azure AI. This tech allows several brands to custom ChatGPT and configure response behavior that aligns with their needs. Azure OpenAI Service provides over 1,000 users with access to the most high – end AI models. This includes the likes of Dall-E 2, GPT-3.5, Codex, and other large language models.

Using ChatGPT Securely with Microsoft Teams, Power Virtual Agent, and Azure OpenAI

Since its launch sometime last year, there has been a lot of excitement and high expectations as it can output human – like text responses. The system does this based on any prompt that it is given. This makes it a very popular tool for automating routine tasks or answering user queries. Microsoft Teams, Power Virtual Agent, and Azure OpenAI Service provide enterprises with a modern chat AI. These chat AIs can provide a more efficient and new way to interact with their users.

Using chatbots based on ChatGPT in a secure manner is very vital. This is because the company needs to ensure that user data and privacy is safe. Also, there is a need to ensure that the chatbot gives true and reliable output. Microsoft Teams and Power Virtual Agent instances are used in the enterprise’s own Power Platform environment to ensure secure and reliable service availability

Final Words

The deal between Microsoft and OpenAI to create a new ecosystem of chat robot plug-ins that makes use of ChatGPT for robotics has a chance to change everyday human – robot interactions. Firms may access the most cutting – edge AI models, such as ChatGPT, through Azure OpenAI Service, which can be custom to meet their brand’s needs. Using Microsoft Teams, Power Virtual Agent, and Azure OpenAI to deploy ChatGPT – based chatbots in a secure manner will assist firms in offering modern chat AI that can interact with users in a productive and creative manner.

Comparison: Apple Homepod Vs Google Home Vs Amazon Echo

Comparison: Apple HomePod Vs Google Home Vs Amazon Echo Apple HomePod Vs Google Home Vs Amazon Echo 1. Apple HomePod

Apple HomePad is one of the newest smart speakers among Google Home and Amazon echo. This device is set up with Siri and other Apple smart devices. This smart speaker was launched in the US back in 2023 and about to launch in India as well. HomePod comes with seven speakers(tweeter) and a dedicated woofer setup (for custom amplifier) as well. With the superior sound quality, you can command Siri from anywhere (like from a room or living area) and she will hear your voice commands. Some of the Pros and Cons of Apple HomePod are:

Built-in Apple Music integration

High fidelity audio quality

Apple’s focus on privacy

Compatible with HomeKit

Ambient Siri for digital assistant

Cons:

Only compatible with Apple devices

No Bluetooth compatibility

No Alexa or Google Assistant

Need to AirPlay other music streaming services

2. Google Home

One of the most iconic smart speakers from Google. This device enables users to speak through voice commands to interact through Google Assistant. You can use this smart speaker in a house with third-party integrated service which allows users to control playback of photos and videos, listen to music or receive any new updates through Google Assistant. Google Home (Google Nest devices) has integrated support for home automation through which you can control your home appliances(smart) with your voice command. Some of the Pros and Cons of Google Home are:

Pros:

Can cast a video to your TV, identify differently voices, cast audio to multiple devices.

Supports Google Play Music and YouTube Music.

Ability to answer all questions and pretty good sound quality.

Customizable appearance and Aesthetic design.

Bluetooth audio streaming and works with Spotify accounts.

Cons:

Can’t read or send emails and messages.

Firmware and features updates are not available to all regions.

Lags in third-party support when compared to Amazon Echo.

Lacks physical buttons on the top of the device and doesn’t have an audio out port.

No intercom feature and doesn’t hear from a distance too.

3. Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) is a highly affordable smart speaker as compare to Apple HomePod and Google Home. With decent audio quality and 360-degree speakers (Dolby-digital), Alexa is pretty capable in digital assistant and fully integrated with your Amazon account. This device is compatible with all smartphones and smart home devices like controlling your home smart lights, music streaming services, etc. Command Alexa to play music and tell her to play music from different music streaming services includes Apple and Amazon music, add items to your shopping list and many more. Some of the Pros and Cons of the Amazon Echo are:

Pros:

Integrates with your Amazon account

Compatible with iOS and Android

Works with Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, etc. with skills

Very affordable

Lets you call and message others

Cons:

Privacy concerns

Audio quality is not as good compared to HomePod and Google Home

Apple services are not built-in

Comparison Table

Apple HomePad Google Home Amazon Echo

Assistant Siri Google Assistant Alexa

Music Support Apple Music Google Play Music, Spotify Premium, YouTube Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Amazon Music, Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify Premium, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Audible

Multi-room Yes with AirPlay 2 Yes with Chromecast Audio Yes, with multiple Echo speakers

Smart Home & third-party support Yes, through HomeKit only Yes Yes

Microphones 6 far-field +

1 low-frequency calibration microphone

2 far-field 7 far-field

Speakers 7x tweeter + woofer 2-inch driver + 2x 2-inch passive radiators 0.6-inch tweeter + 2.5-inch woofer

Connectivity Wi-Fi

(Bluetooth currently unknown)

Bluetooth & Wi-Fi Bluetooth & Wi-Fi

Dimensions and Weight 172 x 142mm

5.5lbs

142.8 x 96.4mm

1.05lbs

148 x 88mm

1.81lbs

Price $299 $99 $74.99

Conclusion

Since the above three are best in smart speakers and I will go with Google Home(personally) as Google is better sounding and great compatibility with all smartphones despite these two (Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo). Google home is easily customizable and easy to use with Chromecast as well. If you want a decent one in terms of price and sound, then the Amazon Echo is best. And if you are very much concerned about the privacy, Apple HomePod will deliver beyond your expectations.

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About the author

Pranay Mathur

Google ’S Astro Teller Sees The Future

Popular Science: How do you vet moonshot ideas?

Astro Teller: We probably look at 1,000 ideas, for a few hours each, for every self-driving-car project we end up with. So it depends on where the project’s Achilles’ heels are. If it has only one Achilles’ heel, it can take a long time to find it. If it has many, you can find one quickly.

PS: Give me an example.

AT: Yesterday I was in a room with 30 people discussing a potential new project, and they were pitching their hearts out. And frankly, they had me excited. The idea had to do with the ocean. And they were telling me why it was going to be important. Eventually I said: “Look, I’ll give you three choices: Between sharks, storms, and pirates, which is the most likely to kill this project?” Everyone started laughing—not because I was kidding, but because that question sounds funny and yet was totally appropriate. I didn’t want to find out in a year from now this idea wasn’t going to work because of pirates.

PS: What was the idea?

AT: I can’t tell you. And I realize that’s why we’re often painted as a secretive organization. But that’s not our intention. I want to be able to kill projects as fast as possible with as little emotional baggage as possible. One of the rate-limiting issues of innovation is that people have a hard time killing their projects. So the more we are publicly committed to a project, the harder it becomes for us to kill it. If I tell you we’re making a space elevator or an anti-gravity machine, and then next week we find a flaw in the idea, people would resist ending the project partly because the public has gotten excited about it. So it’s not that we don’t want to share it with the public. We just want to be sure of our thesis before taking victory laps.

PS: Skeptics and Google’s own investors say these projects take too long and that they’re too future-forward. How do you respond?

AT: I’m not even sure what that means, “too future-forward.” That sounds like a compliment, not an insult. Our goal is not to produce immediate results. We’ve been tasked by Google with producing long-term results. Like all other parts of Google, we are held to the standard of producing value. But we still aspire to a strong return on investment. We don’t take on Google Glass or the self-driving-car project or Project Loon unless we think that on a risk-adjusted basis, it’s worth Google’s money. But that’s different from saying we have to produce liquid value by today or it’s all worthless. That’s not the spirit of long-term bets.

PS: What are you most proud of?

AT: It’s not any one project. It’s the factory. Our goal is to make a moonshot factory, to systematize innovation in an efficient and productive way— and to kill things when we have to. The truth is that most companies end up littered with a huge number of un-killed projects because there isn’t the culture in place, the belief structure in place that allows those projects to get ended quickly. Two days ago, we killed the largest project we’ve worked on here. It’s been going for more than two years and had 20-some people working on it.

PS: What was it?

AT: I can’t tell you. It was an unannounced project. And it’s good that we didn’t announce it, for exactly the reason I said [laughs].

How Astro Teller Became Captain of Moonshots

1992 Graduated Stanford University with bachelor’s in computer science

1993 Graduated Stanford University with master’s in symbolic computation

1998 Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with PH.D. in artificial intelligence

1999 Founded BodyMedia, a fitness tech startup

2004 Graduated from Stanford University School of Business

2008 Founded Cerebellum Capital, a hedge fund

2010 Became director of Google[x]

This article was originally published in the October 2024 issue of Popular Science.

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