tech2 News StaffMay 30, 2016 11:14:34 IST
Boston Dynamics is known for making robots that use limbs in a natural, organic way. The robots react to the environment rapidly in real time, and are a showcase of unprecedented agility and speed in robotics. According to a report by TechInsider, Toyota is close to finalising a deal to buy Boston Dynamics from Google. The news follows a reports of a string of Boston Dynamics talent leaving to join Toyota Research Institute.
The buyout is being termed as a "friendly buyout", and will allow employees of Boston Dynamics to continue developing robots the way they have been doing, focusing on legs and movement. Google apparently wanted the company to come out with a consumer friendly product by the end of 2020. This product would have to be simple to use, and familiar to people. This would mean ditching years of research and development in making robots with legs, and going back to the design board to create a robot with wheels. The expectation from Google to make a wheel based consumer product, caused considerable friction in Boston Dynamics.
Back in 2013, Boston Dynamics was one of the 8 robotics based companies purchased by Google. Google had revealed consumer robots that helped around in mundane tasks one of the aims of the purchase, back then itself. Some reports claimed that the purchase was for developing robots used in factories. In 2015, there were reports that Google Robotics would become a separate division under Google's parent company, Alphabet. In March 2016, Alphabet put up Boston Robotics for sale, citing the reason as a lack of potential to create a consumer product. Apart from Toyota, Amazon was also interested in purchasing the robotics company.
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