Google's parent company, Alphabet, created a new division called Intrinsic, whose focus is developing software for industrial robots. The new company is being created on the basis of the existing project called Intrinsic, which worked within the X Development division of moonshot ideas and technologies.
According to the blog post, Intrinsic will be working on the development of the software for industrial robots that would make them easier to use and less costly. X Development Vice President and Intrinsic CEO Wendy Tan White said the company wants to "unlock the creative and economic potential of industrial robotics for millions more businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers." Nowadays, creating a program for a robot in a factory can take hundreds of hours, and robots are very costly, Tan White said.
In the past, Google was actively interested in robotics-related projects, but none of them proved to be commercially successful. In 2013, the search engine acquired seven startups at once in about six months, including Schaft (the Japanese creator of the bipedal robot) and Boston Dynamics. The initiative was codenamed Replicant and was then led by Andy Rubin, one of the founders of the Android mobile OS.
In the following years, Google either sold or closed part of the divisions party because robots are complicated and not really profitable to make. Now, the tech giant decided to try again and start producing software for industrial robots.
They are being developed so rapidly today that the need for software for them will only grow. The new Intrinsic will join other Alphabet divisions such as Waymo (self-driving cars), Wing (unmanned aerial vehicles), and Verily (healthcare and biotechnology).
The new company intends to seek industrial partners primarily "in the automotive, electronics, and health care industries who are already using industrial robotics and want to learn together," Intrinsic said in a statement.
Details of the exact solutions Intrinsic will offer and who its customers will be were not yet disclosed.