Back in 2013 Google got into robotics in a big way, buying up multiple firms as it sought to build a formidable division that woukld complement its advances in machine learning. Today, it has been reported Google is seeking to offload the most famous of those companies, that of the terrifying robotic animals, Boston Dynamics.
According to Bloomberg sources, the Google parent Alphabet has decided the robotics firm is unlikely to create a marketable, money-making product.
Beyond that, Google wants to distance itself from the public relations ‘discomfort’ regarding the possibility of robots taking human jobs.
An email published to an internal forum implied that the Boston Dynamics videos published to YouTube - which featured advances in humanoid robotics as well as engineers shoving them around - should be “distanced” from Google X.
See also: Watch Boston Dynamics bully this robot
“There’s excitement from the tech press, but we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs,” it read.
The Google spokesperson Courtney Holme continued: “We don’t want to trigger a whole separate media cycle about where BD really is at Google.”
“We’re not going to comment on this video because there’s really not a lot we can add, and we don’t want to answer most of the Qs it triggers.”
The report also suggests the unwillingness of Boston Dynamics employees to work with Google employees has contributed to the decision to sell up.
Either way, it appears the robots will have a new master soon. Until they get tired of this, of course.