While it may come as a bit of a surprise to casual observers â€” especially considering that the public-facing products coming from the lab suggest their efforts are fruitful â€” internal strife at Google may be to blame.
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Internal Boston Dynamics meeting memos leaked to other Googlers show the company was at odds with Google/Alphabet brass. BostonÂ Dynamics was brought on to push Googleâ€™s robotics effort â€” codenamed Replicant â€” forward. In a November meeting, now-former Replicant chief Jonathan Rosenberg said, â€œwe as a startup of our size cannot spend 30-plus percent of our resources on things that take ten years.â€
He went on to add â€œthereâ€™s some time frame that we need to be generating an amount of revenue that covers expenses and [that] needs to be a few years.â€
In December, Replicant was folded into Google X. At a meeting with Replicant staff, Google X chief Astro Teller reportedly told those working on robotics that if their efforts werenâ€™tÂ going to beÂ the practical solutions Google wanted, theyâ€™d be reassigned.
Curiously, Boston Dynamics was never folded into Google X along with Replicant. That leads us to this report. Google X went so far as to distance themselves from Boston Dynamics videos like the scary reindeer Christmas video or more recently, a humanoid bot carrying a package, because the response from the public was less than glowing.
BostonÂ Dynamics believes it has the answer to robotics, while Google X seems to be on the fence about whether or not robots are the path it really wants to take.
Google also seems to be sensing a â€˜Google Glassâ€™ moment, wherein the unexpected public backlash theyâ€™ve experienced has now caused them to rethink their efforts
âž¤ Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat [Bloomberg]