According to a report from Tech Insider today, Google is nearing a deal with Toyota to sell its Boston Dynamics robotics division to the car maker. This follows a report from two months ago suggesting that Alphabet was planning to sell the division known for its super-creepy animal-like and human-like robots due to lack of a ‘marketable product’ in the next few years…
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Alphabet’s sale of Boston Dynamics has been in the works for quite a while, and today’s report follows that of Bloomberg in March which said that Amazon and the Toyota Research Institute were both being considered as possible buyers. A price for the deal has not yet surfaced, but the report says that the “ink is nearly dry” — so things are probably pretty close to becoming official.
As mentioned, the biggest reason for the sale is due to Boston Dynamics not having a “marketable product” in the next few years. Companies under Alphabet are expected to generate real revenue and executives reportedly concluded at some point — seemingly around the time that the new Atlas robot was unveiled — that Boston Dynamics could not do so in a reasonable time frame.
Additionally, of continued concern to Google’s PR, was Alphabet’s association with ‘scary’ human-like robots by average people and the press. The company made to sure to distance X from Boston Dynamics, and rarely — if ever — allowed the Google or Alphabet names to be directly associated with the group in a public facing way. It makes sense — the robots are pretty scary. Watch below.