Google announced Wednesday that it has raised a $250 million round of financing led by Sequoia Capital.
The funding round will help expand its robotics and AI capabilities to a new, global audience, said co-founder Eric Schmidt in a blog post.
“Our goal is to be the leading provider of robotics and artificial intelligence solutions to the world,” Schmidt said.
“The Sequoias are excited about our capabilities to provide a more affordable, faster, and reliable way for robots and machines to work together and solve real-world problems.”
The funding comes on the heels of the launch of its new cloud-based, AI-powered “RobotPet” platform, which will allow developers to easily develop robot pet apps that can be installed on devices and home appliances.
The company also plans to make its own robotics platform for home automation.
Schmidt said the new funding comes from Sequoian and Google Ventures, which together have raised $2 billion since 2012.
Google Ventures will also invest $25 million in Sequoiam.
Schultz said Sequoiah aims to be “the leading platform for creating AI-based robots, and to provide developers a platform to develop their own robotic pets.”
He said that Sequoial’s “RoboPet” software will be available in 2017 for “a fraction of the cost of comparable software,” adding that the company is planning to offer “robotic pets that are capable of interacting with their owners.”
The company is also working on the development of a self-driving, robot-powered vehicle that will have a “smart car” that can “take control of a car, walk, and even run.”
It will also be able to take over a bus, taxi, and bike, Schmidt said, adding that it will also help developers “build their own vehicles.”
Schmidt also hinted that the Sequoions AI-enabled pet-powered car will be more like a “roboport” than a “paddle.”
“With the robot pet platform, you will be able take your robot pet anywhere you want to go with no steering, no steering wheel, and no brakes,” Schmidt wrote.
“You can drive it wherever you want, with no stopping.
And you can take it anywhere, anywhere, with a driver in the front seat.
You can even take it with you in a car.
And it can walk, run, and climb stairs.
And so on.”
The Sequoiias pet-driving software will allow users to interact with the robot pets and provide feedback in the same way as humans.
Schneider also said that the new Sequoiia platform will also include an “intelligence hub,” where “you will have access to all the data and analytics from the software that is driving the robot,” adding, “You will be the ultimate human interface.”
Schneiders company, however, has yet to disclose details of how it plans to use the company’s new funding.