When Mark Zuckerberg revealed his personal challenge for the new year back in January, he said he wanted to build an AI to run his home and help with his work. He never mentioned “opening the biggest and most advanced hardware lab in Facebook’s history” as a goal, which he achieved on Wednesday.
Named after the “not found” error message, Facebook’s Area 404 at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters is an engineer’s toy room, taking up a space that is half a football field in size. It’s stocked with cutting-edge machinery, such as a 5-axis water jet that can cut through steel and granite to a 9-axis mill-turn lathe, Zuckerberg says in a post on Facebook.
It is here that Facebook, rulers of the non-physical internet already, will work on a 10-year plan to build devices to help people further connect.
Today we opened the biggest and most advanced hardware lab in Facebook's history.Over the next 10 years, we're…
“When you think about connecting the world, you have to build different types of hardware to help people connect,” Jay Parikh, Facebook’s head of engineering and infrastructure, said in an Associated Press story after journalists toured the lab this week.
The different types of hardware include everything from Oculus VR headsets to its solar-powered Aquila drones, which could deliver internet signals to billions of people who don’t currently have access.
Zuckerberg points out that there are already labs for those teams — Oculus is in Seattle — but he says the new lab will be a “hub where engineers can work together to make even faster progress towards connecting the world.”