Alphabet sets up industrial robotics business - Mobile World Live

Alphabet sets up industrial robotics business

23 JUL 2021

Google parent Alphabet announced the creation of Intrinsic, a division which will focus on the development of robotics for industrial use, adding to the company’s other futuristic bets in areas including self-driving cars and delivery drones.

In a blog, the company’s new CEO Wendy Tan White explained Intrinsic would work to “unlock the creative and economic potential” of industrial robots for millions more businesses, entrepreneurs and developers, a move designed boost productivity, and support a shift towards sustainable and equitable manufacturing.

Alphabet will look to develop software tools designed to make industrial robots easier to use, less costly and more flexible. It explained such robots “are used to make everything for solar panels to cars” and simplfying operations would enable more people to use them to create new products, businesses and services.

White noted that currently just ten countries manufacture 70 per cent of the world’s goods, meaning most things are “made far away from their end consumers”, raising global transport emissions and meaning businesses often miss out on economic opportunities.

Google has had a long-time interest in robots, although it is yet to launch anything in the segment which can be deemed a commercial success.

It bought seven smaller companies in the field during 2013, however it has mostly sold off or shut down these since.

The new CEO added Alphabet had in recent years explored “how to give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn and automatically make adjustments as they’re completing tasks”, so they can work in a wider range of settings and applications.

After five years of developing the technology, she said it was now ready to become an independent Alphabet company.

Intrinsic will be housed in the company’s “other bets” unit, which includes self-driving car business Waymo, delivery drones Wings, and healthcare and biotech business Verily.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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