Google Cancelled Robotic Arm Launch After it Failed “Toothbrush Test”

Published by , October 10, 2016 2:17 am

(Bloomberg) Google published research this week detailing how its software enables robots to learn from one another. Google built 50 robotic arms capable of lifting about 10 pounds each, according to one person familiar with the project. They were designed by Meka Robotics, a startup Google acquired in 2013.
People inside the robotics division pushed to release the machines at a relatively low price, undercutting other entrants in the small but growing market for light, collaborative robots. However executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc. nixed the plan because it failed Chief Executive Officer Larry Page’s “toothbrush test,” a requirement that the company only ship products used daily by billions of people, according to people familiar with the situation.

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