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Is Toyota buying Boston Dynamics robotics company from Google?



Google is closing in on a buyer for its Boston Dynamics robotics company, following a reported deterioration in the relationship between the two parties.

According to TechInsider sources, Japanese auto giant Toyota is in talks with Google over a deal to take Boston Dynamics off its hands.

The report says a deal isn’t complete, but claims “the ink is nearly dry.”

Talk of a deal comes after Google looked to distance itself from Boston Dynamics after it published videos of the firm’s workers bullying the humanoid Atlas robot.

That video reportedly “soured the soup” between the BD and its parent company, according to a source.

Meanwhile, Boston Dynamics itself has reportedly become frustrated the lack of leadership from the top following Andy Rubin's departure and also with Google’s desire for it to create a commercial robot for the home.

The disparity has resulted in the Boston-based company largely continuing to run its own research agenda, according to sources.

"At the end of day what I saw was a sense of us and them instead of a we — we weren’t part of Google, we were sort of a separate thing," one former employee said.

Toyota has been buying up robotics companies lately with Cambridge-based Jaybridge Robotics coming under its control in March.


May 30, 2016, 7:53 pm

Google made a rational choice to let the legged robots go. Legs are great for disaster recovery and Boston Dynamics mastery of the impulse-momentum equations in more than 6DoF is perfect for controlling cars as they skid off a poorly defined and rough road surface.

Since disaster recovery in homes, offices and factories is a secondary market, Google let it go. Toyota on the other hand, needs Boston Dynamics help in delivering precisely programmed timed sequences of impulses to 4-18 wheeled vehicles.

There was no ill will, only science in Google's management decision, but it may have seemed that way to the Applied Mechanics/Math geniuses from MIT who run Boston Dynamics.

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