In 2014, Google purchased a handful of companies putting in efforts on a number of technologies to make robots capable of seeing, walking, and grasping objects. That time, everybody thought that the technology major was willing to create advanced new robots that could change factories and in fact our daily lives.
However, Bloomberg reported last week that the Search Engine Giant is looking forward to sell off the most striking company acquired by it, Boston Dynamics. The feature-packed two and four-legged robots of the company were apparently quite far from being marketable. The Search Engine Giant hasn’t given up on robots, but has apparently made up its mind to be more realistic regarding what can be achieved.
Helen Greiner, cofounder of iRobot, an efficient manufacturer of household robots like the Roomba, and existing CEO of drone builder CyPhyWorks, said that while making a product, a company has to decide what will be its use and decide a price, and the customers that will be targeted.
Instead, Boston Dynamics has been dedicated on coming up with entirely new capabilities for robots. It takes time to know how a technology invented recently can be used in a product. Greiner said that Boston Dynamics are doing the research so it is going to take a lot of time.
Google has been creating technologies from the other robot companies acquired by it. In 2014, Google acquired many companies, including Industrial Perception, which is specialized in machine vision, and Redwood Robotics, creator of advanced robot arms. But, same kind of work has been done by many research labs and robotics companies.
Greiner added that work like this has suggested that Google is still looking forward to commercialize robot technologies. She said, “I don’t see Google backing away from robotics at all. They just might not have found a market for dynamically stable robots”.