Google owner Alphabet to launch robotics firm Intrinsic

Google parent company Alphabet is set to launch Intrinsic, a company focused on developing software for industrial robotics.

Intrinsic had previously operated as part of “X Development”, the BigTech giant’s semi-secret research and development division which focuses on “moonshots".

A “moonshot” is an ambitious and experimental project with no expectation of near-term profitability.

Previous X projects include Google Brain, Google Glass, driverless car project Waymo, and the now defunct high altitude balloon company Loon.

Intrinsic said it will focus on developing software tools designed to make industrial robots - used to make everything from solar panels to cars - easier to use, less costly and more flexible.

The company will be led by Wendy Tan White, who previously held the position of vice president of moonshots at Alphabet and was co-founder of SaaS firm Moonfruit where she worked until 2015.

Intrinsic said it has spent the last five and a half years developing its technology at X and is now set to become an independent Alphabet company.

The robotics firm said it is currently looking for partners in the automotive, electronics, and health care industries who are already implementing industrial robotics.

The US manufacturing industry alone is expected to have 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030 according to statistics cited by Intrinsic.

Intrinsic is also looking to hire AI experts, software engineers or roboticists to develop new technologies.

“Over the last few years, our team has been exploring how to give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn, and automatically make adjustments as they’re completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications,” said Wendy Tan White, chief executive officer at Intrinsic. “Working in collaboration with teams across Alphabet, and with our partners in real-world manufacturing settings, we’ve been testing software that uses techniques like automated perception, deep learning, reinforcement learning, motion planning, simulation, and force control.”

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