Remember the Cheetah and BigDog robots, and the more recent humanoid robot, Atlas, from the Google X-owned Boston Dynamics?
While these robots have repeatedly captured our imagination with their freakish, killer smarts, it looks like executives from Google's parent company, Alphabet, have decided to sell Boston Dynamics, according to a report from Bloomberg.
It may come as a surprise, considering the public interest in Boston Dynamics's robots, but Bloomberg's sources suggest that it comes down to the startup's lack of a consumer-friendly robot that could be marketable within the next few years. This has reportedly caused some conflict for Google, as it has not exactly been generating revenue.
It's suggested that there has been a growing concern within Alphabet at just how Boston Dynamics's robots are being perceived.
In an internal email obtained by Bloomberg, Google's communications director Courtney Hohne reportedly wrote: "There's excitement from the tech press. But we're also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans' jobs."
Up for adoption
Google purchased the startup Boston Dynamics in 2013, just as it was finishing up its contract with the US government's Defense Agency Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
As Google restructured itself, and all of its acquisitions and companies, under the new umbrella company Alphabet last year, Boston Dynamics became a part of its research arm, Google X.
It's unknown just where Boston Dynamics will eventually land, or whether a sale will even go through, however the report speculates that it may find a new home with the Toyota Research Institute or even Amazon.
On that note, we'll leave you with video of the robot reindeers that helped Boston Dynamics wish us Happy Holidays last December.