Google parent company Alphabet has put its robot-making division Boston Dynamics up for sale due to the company’s failure to develop a marketable product.
Sources close to Bloomberg revealed that Alphabet wants to sell the robotics company it acquired back in 2013, as it is not likely to have products that can generate revenue in the next couple of years.
There are currently no companies publicly interested in buying the robot-maker, but it is rumoured that car maker Toyota may be interested in integrating Boston Dynamics into its Research Institute division.
Amazon has also been named as a possible interested party, which would seem logical as the company makes robots for its fulfilment centres.
While Boston Dynamics has created a range of advanced quadruped and bipedal robots, the company currently lacks any compelling uses for its technology aside from impressive demonstrations.
Alphabet's apparent reluctance to continue funding Boston Dynamic’s robotics research and engineering is perhaps understandable given how much money it bleeds on its experimental projects.
Boston Dynamics’s position within Alphabet always seemed a little precarious given it was never integrated into the company’s X experimental division.
In many ways Alphabet’s decision to sell Boston Dynamics underlines how companies can often struggle to monetise cutting-edge technology and some of the more left-field trends in the technology market.
For example, while wearable technology is making headway in the consumer market, it is still in its early days in the enterprise world, though more compelling use cases for technology like augmented reality headsets and wearable sensors are being introduced by the likes of Fujitsu.
Often certifications and regulations hold beck useful technology from entering the industrial and enterprise markets, as seen with BP’s desire to use wearables but only if they meet the rigorous certifications of the oil and gas sector.
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