Google’s holding co. to sell Boston Dynamics – Boston Herald

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Alphabet Inc., the holding company for Google Inc., has put Waltham 
robotics company Boston Dynamics up for sale because it isn’t likely to produce a marketable product that generates revenue anytime soon, Bloomberg reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the plans.

Possible buyers include Toyota Motor Corp.’s 
Toyota Research Institute and Inc., which makes robots for its fulfillment centers, Bloomberg said. Google and Toyota declined comment; Boston Dynamics and 
Amazon didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Boston Dynamics, bought by Alphabet in 2013, is best known for building robots that look like they belong in a science-fiction movie and are often co-developed or funded by the U.S. military. Its products include BigDog, a four-legged rough-terrain robot that walks, runs, climbs and carries heavy loads, and Cheetah, which it claims to be the world’s fastest legged robot. Its YouTube postings of the robots attract tens of millions of views.

But Google’s push into robotics under its “Replicant” initiative was plagued by problems after the 2014 departure of its Android division chief who spearheaded the effort, Bloomberg reported. At the heart of Replicant’s trouble, said a person familiar with the group, was a reluctance by Boston Dynamics executives to work with Google robot engineers in California and Tokyo, and the unit’s failure to come up with products that could be released in the near term.

Google’s holding co. to sell Boston Dynamics – Boston Herald