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Gosling Seeks Something Cooler

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Java God James Gosling lasted just five months with Google but couldn’t resist the allure of ‘cool’ unmanned robotics, says Clint Boulton

Java Founder James Gosling has left Google, where he was definitely not helping the search engine with its patent infringement case versus Oracle.

A Google spokesperson told me:

We thank James for his contributions to Google and the technology industry at large. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

My eWEEK colleague Darryl Taft got the scoop via email from the Java God himself, who said he was leaving to work with former Sun Microsystems colleague Bill Vass at Liquid Robotics, which makes the Wave Glider unmanned ocean vehicle and a data cloud support system.

Engineer, not legal eagle

Industry watchers believe Google hired Gosling (pictured) this past April to help serve as an advisor in the case, but an industry source told me Gosling was not connected with the case at all: He was just another engineer, albeit a darned good one.

Oracle, which acquired Java technology and Gosling’s services when the company purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010, is suing the search engine for using patented and copyrighted Java software to build its Android mobile operating system.

Oracle could receive damages of hundreds of millions of dollars or more should it secure victory in the case, which has been delayed, according to FOSS Patents blogger and IP expert Florian Mueller.

Now that’s cool

Gosling wrote in his email to eWEEK:

Deciding to leave Google was pretty tough, it’s a pile of great people doing interesting things. But when my friend Bill Vass (the CEO of Liquid Robotics) described what he was doing, he blew the top off the coolness chart.

Apparently Google, with all its experimental driverless cars on the road and green IT initiatives such as solar and wind power generation, is not so interesting anymore.

After all, CEO Larry Page is trimming Labs and other Googley projects to streamline operations.

And it is pretty hard to beat unmanned, underwater vehicles like this, as my colleague Taft noted:

The Wave Glider is a self-propelled marine robotic drone employing a multi-patented design that taps into the ocean’s inexhaustible supply of wave energy to “swim” indefinitely–no refueling, no emissions and no manpower. It can collect and transmit worldwide oceanic data in real time on a continuous basis on missions that can last years and cover thousands of miles. Previous robotic ocean platforms spend the majority of their power on propulsion, yet the Wave Glider gets its propulsion directly from wave energy, thus all its power can be dedicated to sensing and significant computation.

Who knows? Maybe Google will buy Liquid Robotics one day.