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Google has a workshop on its campus in Mountain View that employees can use to build projects out of metal, wood, and Legos.Google gave AP a tour, and explained that the workshop fits into new CEO Larry Page’s effort to recreate Google’s start-up roots.
They help spark creativity in engineers who otherwise would spend most of their time in front of a computer.
The workshop was originally called the Pi shop, and is divided into four areas for metal, wood, welding, and electronics. Employees must pass a test before they’re allowed in to use potentially dangerous gear like band saws and plasma cutters. About 300 people have passed the test so far — mostly engineers, although a few ad sales folks have also been certified. The entire project is overseen by a machinist named Rodney Broome who teaches at San Jose City College.
Some Googlers use the lab for work, like designing mobile phone handsets or a tricycle used for capturing Street View images in areas where a car couldn’t fit. But most of them use it for personal projects like building cabinets or holiday decorations. One team is designing a 100-foot wide pedal-powered aeroplane.
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