At a time when robotics seems to be all the rage, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, feels otherwise. Reportedly, Boston Dynamics, which was purchased in 2013 is being sold to Toyota Research. While the deal has not been disclosed publicly, this has come to light through a source who told about the sale to Tech Insider. It appears that the deal is almost finalized but the price has not been disclosed.
Boston Dynamics was left asunder when its co-founder Andy Rubin left the company in 2014. One of the reasons that encouraged Alphabet to sell Boston Dynamics was the inability of the division to come up with a consumer product.
In a company where innovation has been the motivating element, Boston Dynamics was unable to please. Alphabet could sense tensions among the team of engineers at Boston Dynamics, and it quickly decided to unload its robotics division. Speculation has been going on since March regarding the sale of Boston Dynamics but nothing had been said about the finalizing of deals.
Toyota is planning to start a research division of its own in the field of Artificial Intelligence and robotics. It started Toyota Research Institute in November 2015 and began hiring for the division in January this year.
According to the source, once the deal is official, Google employees who are currently working for Boston Dynamics will leave the company to join Toyota’s Research Institute.
Boston Dynamics was known for releasing some videos of humanoid robots which swept the tech world into a swirl, but it appears that these videos also ignited a fear of robots rising to take the place of humans at work.
The sale of Boston Dynamics can be a profitable transaction for both the companies, as Google can step out of owning a division that it deemed less profitable and which may not have worked positively for the company’s PR and on the other hand Toyota may gain a division which it can utilize for exploring robotics and enhancing its own research capabilities.