Google is seeking to part ways with robotic company Boston Dynamics, publicly known for its forays into robotic reindeer; six-foot humanoid robots; and Marine-assisting robotic dogs.
According to Bloomberg, Google parent company Alphabet Inc. has decided Boston Dynamics is unlikely to create a marketable product that will generate real revenue within the next few years. Though none of the companies involved commented on the story, the media outlet reported that potential buyers include Toyota Motor Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.
The report attributes unnamed sources for the information.
Google acquired Boston Dynamics, which was founded in 1992, back in 2013. The acquisition included all of the company’s contracts, including a $10.8 million contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), according to The New York Times.
Time reported that Google bought at least seven other robotics companies in 2013.
Boston Dynamics was initially part of a division within Google called Replicant, which was later absorbed by Google X, an advanced research group.
While Boston Dynamics has produced robots that garner millions of hits on YouTube, the products had trouble selling.
In December 2015, Popular Science reported that the Marines were passing on the DARPA Legged Squad Support System, a walking robot capable of carrying 400 lbs of gear. The problem: it was too loud.
Still, the company draws attention. In a recently released video, the company tested its Atlas robot’s durability by shoving it and putting it through a variety of environment tests.