- 21 March 2016
- Transport / Logistics Services
Google is to sell its robotics company Boston Dynamics. This is for a number of reasons that stemmed from the poor chance of it making any money in the coming years, but also include a number of differences between executives in Google and the robotics company.
One of the smaller reasons, it is believed is the viral video that showed a humanoid robot, that Apex Insight reported in February could be useful in the parcels business but executives wrote in an email, “we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs.”
The robots stealing jobs worry could well come to pass, as one of the companies interested in buying Boston Dynamics is e-commerce, distribution and warehousing company Amazon, which is always seeking to reduce costs in the supply chain and may worry somewhat less about such a thorny issue. Also in the running is Toyota Research Institute, that has pioneered robotics and been somewhat responsible for some job losses in the global automotive industry as a result…
There have been a number of contretemps between the management of Boston Dynamics and the parent of Google, Alphabet Inc. These boil down to management refusing to deal with other robotics companies within the Google empire. A number of emails were leaked to the wider Google company that showed a bust up between Alphabet and Boston Dynamics in November and were reported on by Bloomberg.
Though the company won world fame and notoriety for its viral video, the humanoid aspect of its robots may have scared off a parent company that has as one of its values “Don’t be evil”. A company without such an ethos may well take the leap and buy in such expertise that could well drive in efficiency into delivery, logistics and warehousing where only humans tread at present…