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

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.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.