Google is selling off a company working on the most advanced problems in robotics, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have robot dreams.
In 2014, Google went on a robot spending spree, buying a handful of companies working on various technologies to help robots see, walk, and grasp objects. It seemed that the company was intent on building advanced new robots that might transform factories and even our homes.
But last week Bloomberg reported that Google wants to sell the most striking of the companies it acquired, Boston Dynamics. The company’s impressive two- and four-legged robots were apparently too far from being marketable. Google has not given up on robots, but appears to have decided to be more realistic about what it can achieve.
“When you’re making a product, you have to pick what it’s going to do and a price point, and the target customer,” says Helen Greiner, who cofounded iRobot, a successful manufacturer of household robots such as the Roomba, and is now CEO of drone builderCyPhyWorks.