An anonymous reader writes from an article on Bloomberg: Executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc., absorbed with making sure all the various companies under its corporate umbrella have plans to generate real revenue, concluded that Boston Dynamics isn't likely to produce a marketable product in the next few years and have put the unit up for sale, according to two people familiar with the company's plans. Possible acquirers include the Toyota Research Institute, a division of Toyota Motor Corp., and Amazon.com Inc., which makes robots for its fulfillment centers, according to one person. Google acquired Boston Dynamics in late 2013 as part of a spree of acquisitions in the field of robotics. Over the following year, the robot initiative, dubbed Replicant, was plagued by leadership changes, failures to collaborate between companies and an unsuccessful effort to recruit a new leader. Jonathan Rosenberg, an adviser to Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Larry Page and former Google senior vice president, said, "we as a startup of our size cannot spend 30-plus percent of our resources on things that take ten years," and that "there'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." In December, Google announced that Replicant had been folded into Google's advanced research group, Google X. In a private all-hands meeting around that time, Astro Teller, the head of Google X, told Replicant employees that if robotics aren't the practical solution to problems that Google was trying to solve, they would be reassigned to work on other things, according to a person who was at that meeting. Boston Dynamics, though, was never folded into Google X and was instead put up for sale.
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