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.