Google rejects military funding for its advanced humanoid robot

Once upon a time, if you wanted money to build humanoid robots, you basically had to get it from the military, specifically, the high-risk, high-reward technology lab known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. That changed late last year when Google’s own high-risk, high-reward technology lab, Google X.
Google X bought a string of companies that make robot legs, arms, eyes, wheels, and brains, with the apparent goal of building something like an android. It’s a win for roboticists, who now have a nonmilitary patron with deep pockets. But two of Google’s new rock star robotics companies, Boston Dynamics and Schaft, still have obligations to DARPA, meaning Google and DARPA are entangled in a shotgun marriage, forced to share parental duties for at least a year.
Google and DARPA have a lot in common, they both try to anticipate the future and make big bets on emerging technologies. Google even has a history of snapping up DARPA-funded technology, the self-driving car came from a DARPA-sponsored competition, and poaching its employees.
That doesn’t mean the two innovation houses want to work together, however. Google isn’t interested in taking money from DARPA because its ambitions are in the more lucrative consumer market, and any association with DARPA leads to headlines like, "What the heck will Google do with these scary military robots?" DARPA doesn’t want to give Google money because it wants to use its $2.7 billion budget to fund startups with scarce resources, not Goliath tech companies, and its investments are supposed to seed technology that can one day be purchased by the Pentagon for national defense, which Google is unlikely to play along with.