If you walked into Building 44 on Google’s Mountain View campus in the mid-2000s, there’s a chance you’d find electric skateboards, outlandish machines, and all sorts of gizmos floating around the office.
That’s because Andy Rubin, the former Google executive responsible for creating Android, loved playing with gadgets so much he’d constantly bring his own projects into the office.
These gizmos ranged from gigantic, expensive robots that would show you how to make the perfect espresso to tiny motorised figurines that could cartwheel around the office, Sumit Agarwal, a former product manager at Google and co-founder of startup Shape Security, told Business Insider.
One of Rubin’s more memorable contraptions, according to Agarwal, was a giant remote-controlled helicopter.
“[It’s] this huge $US5,000 helicopter, he’s trying to pilot it, and it takes off and flips over upside down,” Agarwal said. “And it doesn’t explode, but you’ve got this helicopter that’s literally ripped itself apart out on the lawn in front of Building 44.”
Rubin recently left Google to pursue a new startup after working at the company for about nine years. Agarwal worked at Google for about seven years between 2003 and 2010, where he primarily worked on Google’s mobile products.
Other than his massive collection of eccentric gadgets, Agarwal said there’s one particular reason he’ll always remember working with Rubin.
“The thing that I will remember the most clearly, forever, is how perfectly formed his vision for Android was,” Agarwal said. “That fully formed vision existed in 2003, and it was a reality by 2011 or 2012, but it didn’t change. He saw it 10 years in advance.”