hiddenMar 18, 2016 08:47:19 IST
Alphabet, the new holding company for Google, has put Boston Dynamics, part of its robotics division, up for sale for lack of revenue potential, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the plans.
The possible buyers include Amazon.com and Toyota Research Institute, Toyota Motor Corp's research and development company, according to Bloomberg.
Boston Dynamics, bought by Alphabet in 2013, is best known for building robots that look as if they belong in a science-fiction movie and are often co-developed or funded by the U.S. military.
Boston Dynamic's products include Cheetah, which it claims to be world's fastest legged robot as well as RiSE, a robot that climbs vertical terrains such as walls, trees and fences.
Amazon has installed thousands of robots across its warehouses to cut operating costs and get packages out the door more quickly.
Toyota Research said in January it had hired a team of scientists and engineers to help drive research into artificial intelligence and robots.
Toyota declined to comment, while Alphabet and Amazon couldn't be immediately reached.
Back in 2013, Google acquired Boston Dynamics, a privately held company best known for building robots that look as if they belong in a science-fiction movie and which are often co-developed or funded by the US military. Big Dog, a four-legged robot that can climb muddy hills, and Cheetah, a robot which can outrun the fastest human, were among the robots that later belonged to Google.
Early last year, Google released an interesting video of Spot, a 160-pound dog robot navigating an office and then heading outside on its own. It came across as a smaller version of the Big Dog that first popped its head when Google acquired Boston Company.
As the new changes came into effect, Boston Company went under Alphabet and not a part of Google. Another report claimed that the Google plans to create a separate division for robotics within the renamed umbrella entity Alphabet. By last year, Google was known to have acquired roughly eight companies related to robotics.
With inputs from Reuters
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