Media reports indicate that Google’s experimental division, Everyday Robots, is set to be shut down a year after its promotion from Alphabet’s X moonshot lab.
According to the reports, The department, which employed more than 200 employees engaged in various exploratory robotics projects, is being fired by Alphabet as part of a cost-cutting measure. This includes the robots that were designed to perform tasks such as cleaning cafeteria tables, sorting garbage, and opening doors.
The Everyday Robots team created and trained over a hundred single-arm robots equipped with wheels that were capable of tasks such as wiping dust, sorting trash, recycling, and opening doors, among other functionalities. During their training, the robots were deployed to perform duties such as maintaining the tidiness of the dining halls and ensuring the hygiene of conference rooms amidst the pandemic.
The budget cuts imposed by Alphabet affected not only the trainers but also the robots despite their advancements. As per reports, robotics experts estimate that each robot may have cost tens of thousands of dollars to build.
Denise Gamboa, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Everyday Robots, stated that the experimental department would no longer exist as a special project under Alphabet. Instead, some of its technology and team members will be integrated into Google Research’s existing robotics initiatives.