One of the bright minds that headed up the creation of the Android OS, Andy Rubin, is departing Google for more freedom to create artificial brains.
News of Rubin's departure from Google was confirmed in a statement made by Google CEO Larry Page in the Wall Street Journal.
"I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next. With Android he created something truly remarkable -- with a billion-plus happy users. Thank you," stated Page.
Google purchased Android from Rubin in 2005, bringing along the operating system's founder, to stamp out Microsoft's Windows Mobile and to rival Apple's iOS. The Android OS has since grown to be the world's most-used mobile platform.
Rubin will go on to develop a company that will incubate hardware startups. One individual with knowledge of Google's inner workings previously described Rubin as the sort of guy to "take something from zero to one," comparing the outgoing robotics chief to recently promoted Sundar Pichai, who is said to be the type to take "100 to 1,000."
Rubin's departure comes just days after Page decided to step back from managing Google's divisions to take in the big picture. Pichai, a rising star inside of Google, was given more responsibilities as a result of Page stepping back.
While the individual motives may be just as each player claims, the one sure thing is that Google is in the middle of a hard push to make its ventures into robotics and artificial intelligence solid streams of revenue. Rubin's departure may indicate that Page and company are closing in on the completion of one or more projects in the robotics division, while the unit's outgoing chief seeks out new ideas in their infancy.
While Rubin will attempt to create something from nothing or very little, as he did with Android, James Kuffner will step in to fill the void at Google.
Kuffner currently serves as an adjunct professor's at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute and is a manager in Google's robotics division. Kuffner is said to have published more than 100 papers on robotics and has researched humanoid robotics for approximately two decades.
"So far robotics has been very brittle, and it's going to take best-in-class software and hardware and a lot of hard work to make these robots achieve the same level of performance and agility that humans and animals have," stated Kuffner in an interview with MIT. "I think that's sort of an inspiration goal and something to motivate everyone to work toward."