Google Shuts Down Bipedal Robot Program

Will Night writing for the MIT Technology Review:

Google’s parent company Alphabet has decided to close down an ambitious project to develop bipedal robots, created with the acquisition of a Japanese company called Schaft in 2013.

Not a complete shock.

Alphabet was right to recognize that robotics would experience a renaissance, but the Replicant effort was too ambitious in the technology it was bringing together. Bipedal robots capable of working in unstructured environments could turn out to be incredibly important, but research in that area is probably better suited to academic labs.

The current technology can barely complete simple tasks, so it’s not unreasonable for Google to make these moves.