Much like a playhouse for kids filled with toys an unimaginable playthings, Area 404 in Facebook's headquarters is an engineers playhouse. An engineering fun house that future historians will likely condemn us for not realising sooner that this is where the robot uprising would begin. If The Matrix, The Terminator, andI, Robot has taught us anything is that when brilliant engineers come together for good, the opposite usually ensues.
The water jet that cuts through granite and steel. Image: Facebook
Anyways, the lab is a 22,000-square-foot space for Facebook's engineers to design, prototype, and test new hardware. It's outfitted with state-of-the-art machine tools and test equipment which will handle the majority of their modelling, prototyping, and failure analysis. The space allows for all of their teams to work together; namely, Connectivity Lab, Oculus, Building 8, and their Infrastructure teams. Bet you didn't know Facebook, a software company, even had a hardware team.
Examples of the things they could work on with the new space include the following found on their own post:
- Connectivity Lab: Research and development for Aquila, the solar powered drone that will provide internet access to the far reaches of the world.
The Aquila weighs 1/3 of an electric car. Image: Facebook
There are no signs of robotics or artificial intelligence in the works at the lab but hey, you never know.