You might know Google as a search engine, but the company behind it has made investments in everything from robotics and artificial intelligence to travel and data mining. You may not be able to play with those Google robots anytime soon, but you can take advantage of other technological innovations the company has made.

If you have a computer, you can start using Google for more than just search. Here are just a few of the cool things you did not know Google could do.

Make Your Meal Preparation Easier

Whether you are preparing a big feast for the whole family or just boiling a plate of pasta for yourself, Google can help you with your favorite recipes. Thanks to Google Conversions, you never have to wonder how many ounces are in a cup or how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon.

All you need to do is type a simple query, like "convert 16 ounces to cups" or "how many teaspoons are in a ΒΌ cup?". Google will do all the work for you, and you can take the credit when your favorite recipes turn out great.

You can also use Google Conversions to teach the kids - or yourself - the metric system. If you need to know how many centimeters are in an inch or how many kilos are in a pound, just as Google.

Explore the Universe

You are probably already familiar with Google Earth, the super cool tool that lets you look at virtually any location on the planet. Maybe you even used Google Earth to look at your house from space or create an aerial photograph or two.

If you think Google Earth is cool, you are sure to love Google Sky, a tool that lets you escape the bounds of Earth and explore the wider universe. The Google Sky tool compiles images from various telescopes, satellites and space probes to bring you the latest pictures of the planets, galaxies and stars. Just type your intergalactic destination into the search bar and start exploring the universe.

Make Your Search Results More Useful

This last one is actually search related, but it can still be a big help. If you are an avid Google user, you already know that a simple search term can yield millions of results - far too many to sort through. If you want to hone your searches and make them more useful, you can exclude certain terms and reduce the number of results in the process.

If you are looking for bars in Springfield, Ohio, a search for Springfield bars will undoubtedly yield information on watering holes in Springfield, Illinois and other Springfields throughout the nation. To make your search results more useful, you can type something like bars Springfield Ohio -Illinois. The minus sign will exclude Illinois and make the results you see more useful. You can keep adding exclusionary terms and continue to refine your search until you have exactly what you are looking for.

Google is an immensely useful search engine, but it is much more than that. With a few tricks and tweaks, you can make Google even more fun and useful, so log on to your computer and have fun.