Google’s Elevator To Space

Google's Driverless Car. Photo: Steve Jurvetson (CC)

Google's Driverless Car. Photo: Steve Jurvetson (CC)

I kid you not, some of the geniuses at Google are working on an elevator to space, as reported by Clare Cain Miller and Nick Bilton for the New York Times:

In a top-secret lab in an undisclosed Bay Area location where robots run free, the future is being imagined.

It’s a place where your refrigerator could be connected to the Internet, so it could order groceries when they ran low. Your dinner plate could post to a social network what you’re eating. Your robot could go to the office while you stay home in your pajamas. And you could, perhaps, take an elevator to outer space.

These are just a few of the dreams being chased at Google X, the clandestine lab where Google is tackling a list of 100 shoot-for-the-stars ideas. In interviews, a dozen people discussed the list; some work at the lab or elsewhere at Google, and some have been briefed on the project. But none would speak for attribution because Google is so secretive about the effort that many employees do not even know the lab exists.

Although most of the ideas on the list are in the conceptual stage, nowhere near reality, two people briefed on the project said one product would be released by the end of the year, although they would not say what it was…

Google may turn one of the ideas — the driverless cars that it unleashed on California’s roads last year — into a new business. Unimpressed by the innovative spirit of Detroit automakers, Google now is considering manufacturing them in the United States, said a person briefed on the effort.

Google could sell navigation or information technology for the cars, and theoretically could show location-based ads to passengers as they zoom by local businesses while playing Angry Birds in the driver’s seat.

Robots figure prominently in many of the ideas…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • Big, Dumb, & Slow

    Google should just buy NASA and build it’s new headquarters on mars. 

  • Big, Dumb, & Slow

    Google should just buy NASA and build it’s new headquarters on mars. 

  • Anarchy Pony

    Making future people dumber and weaker, by making the machines do everything for us, yee haw. Whizbang techno marvelism, a dead planet, and stupid self absorbed monkies on the top of the pile. That’s right, all of history and evolution occurred so you can watch tv and tweet about that shit you just took.

    Someone stop the universe please, I’d like to get off.

  • Wanooski

    Making future people dumber and weaker, by making the machines do everything for us, yee haw. Whizbang techno marvelism, a dead planet, and stupid self absorbed monkies on the top of the pile. That’s right, all of history and evolution occurred so you can watch tv and tweet about that shit you just took.

    Someone stop the universe please, I’d like to get off.

  • Jassim Taqui

    Nevertheless, one would indulge in a guessing process that is based on the rules of the game and inside information. There are many scenarios available to end the war of the roses: First, the President Asif Ali Zardari would use his power to replace the incumbent COAS Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. Second, the Corps Commanders would themselves resolve the war of the roses in a manner that satisfies both parties. Third, Imran Khan would soon emerge as victor in a fresh general elections to be held before March, 2012. Imran Khan would then delink the ISI and the military from politics. Fourth, the Chief Justice Muhammad Iftikhar Chaudhry would dissolve the parliament on the basis of Doctrine of Necessity maintaining that the Government has failed to function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

  • Jassim Taqui

    Nevertheless, one would indulge in a guessing process that is based on the rules of the game and inside information. There are many scenarios available to end the war of the roses: First, the President Asif Ali Zardari would use his power to replace the incumbent COAS Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. Second, the Corps Commanders would themselves resolve the war of the roses in a manner that satisfies both parties. Third, Imran Khan would soon emerge as victor in a fresh general elections to be held before March, 2012. Imran Khan would then delink the ISI and the military from politics. Fourth, the Chief Justice Muhammad Iftikhar Chaudhry would dissolve the parliament on the basis of Doctrine of Necessity maintaining that the Government has failed to function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

  • Jassim Taqui

    Nevertheless, one would indulge in a guessing process that is based on the rules of the game and inside information. There are many scenarios available to end the war of the roses: First, the President Asif Ali Zardari would use his power to replace the incumbent COAS Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. Second, the Corps Commanders would themselves resolve the war of the roses in a manner that satisfies both parties. Third, Imran Khan would soon emerge as victor in a fresh general elections to be held before March, 2012. Imran Khan would then delink the ISI and the military from politics. Fourth, the Chief Justice Muhammad Iftikhar Chaudhry would dissolve the parliament on the basis of Doctrine of Necessity maintaining that the Government has failed to function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

  • Jassim Taqui

    Nevertheless, one would indulge in a guessing process that is based on the rules of the game and inside information. There are many scenarios available to end the war of the roses: First, the President Asif Ali Zardari would use his power to replace the incumbent COAS Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. Second, the Corps Commanders would themselves resolve the war of the roses in a manner that satisfies both parties. Third, Imran Khan would soon emerge as victor in a fresh general elections to be held before March, 2012. Imran Khan would then delink the ISI and the military from politics. Fourth, the Chief Justice Muhammad Iftikhar Chaudhry would dissolve the parliament on the basis of Doctrine of Necessity maintaining that the Government has failed to function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

  • DITM

    Why are no other companies this awesome?

  • DITM

    Why are no other companies this awesome?

  • Quizzard123

    So Google has assigned a few people (relatively, given the size of the business) to explore ideas that have been around for decades?  The IDEA of an elevator to space is not even remotely new, Arthur C Clarke explored the idea decades ago.  What is missing is the materials science to make it possible, as well as the political will and money to make it happen.

    Driverless cars?  Google can explore the idea of the technology all it wants, and can bemoan the lack of inventiveness of car makers, but the reality is that such a vehicle is not going to be put into use on the roads of ANY nation for decades, if ever.

    Honestly, large corporations have been funding off the wall ideas since the days of Thomas Edison, without a meaningful discussion of the actual realities, this article is pointless.

  • Quizzard123

    So Google has assigned a few people (relatively, given the size of the business) to explore ideas that have been around for decades?  The IDEA of an elevator to space is not even remotely new, Arthur C Clarke explored the idea decades ago.  What is missing is the materials science to make it possible, as well as the political will and money to make it happen.

    Driverless cars?  Google can explore the idea of the technology all it wants, and can bemoan the lack of inventiveness of car makers, but the reality is that such a vehicle is not going to be put into use on the roads of ANY nation for decades, if ever.

    Honestly, large corporations have been funding off the wall ideas since the days of Thomas Edison, without a meaningful discussion of the actual realities, this article is pointless.