Going forward with budget reduction plans, Google has decided to terminate a program that trained over 100 robots to perform everyday tasks. This decision affects both humans and robots, as the team responsible for training the robots will also be disbanded, as reported by Wired.
The Everyday Robots team had approximately 200 employees, including designers and trainers of the robots, with each robot costing thousands of dollars.
Alphabet’s ‘X – The Moonshot Factory’ program included a project called ‘Everyday Robots’. With the objective of developing versatile robots capable of independent and secure operation in unstructured surroundings, they have also built with abilities to learn. The robots were used for certain jobs like, opening doors, cleaning cafeteria tables, and sorting garbage.
According to a statement from Denise Gamboa, director of marketing and communications, Everyday Robots project, the project will no longer exist as a separate entity. Some of the technology and team members will be incorporated into Google Research’s existing robotics initiatives.
Retaining the Everyday Robots project was not a viable option due to financial considerations. According to Wired, the project, along with Waymo, Google’s autonomous driving technology, incurred losses of over $1 billion in 2022. However, some individuals believe that the decision to terminate the Everyday Robots project was hasty.
According to a former Google employee who spoke with Wired, robots are beginning to perform valuable tasks in a more universal manner. They do not believe that the termination of the Everyday Robots project indicates a lack of progress, and with the right concentration, it is possible to release a meaningful product within five years.
In January, Google revealed extensive restructuring plans, including the elimination of 12,000 jobs worldwide.
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