Google is in talks with the Toyota Research Institute to sell its robotics division Boston Dynamics, a source familiar with the matter told Tech Insider.
Tensions between Google and Boston Dynamics have been brewing since 2014, but a video released by Boston Dynamics in February of its humanoid robot, Atlas, was the tipping point for the separation, according to a Bloomberg article written in March. At the time, Bloomberg reported that Amazon and the Toyota Research Institute were possible acquirers of Boston Dynamics.
Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, worked with Marc Raibert, founder and CEO of Boston Dynamics, at MIT’s leg lab — a lab that builds and studies legged robots that Raibert founded in 1986. Pratt took over the lab in 1992 after Raibert left the university to build Boston Dynamics.
Raibert still runs Boston Dynamics under Google.
Several Google robotics employees have also left the company to work at the Toyota Research Institute recently.