Alphabet X-born Passive made it Big debut last September. The subsidiary looks to improve on the parent company’s outstanding steam robotics track record with a software-first approach. Specifically, the company is looking to make manufacturing robots smarter — a concept that is sure to excite many in the space amid the pandemic’s heightened demand for automation.
Today, it made its second big news: an acquisition. Intri Internal is acquiring fellow robotics/AI company Vicarious. The Bay Area-based company has been around for more than a decade, raising $250 million in that time from big names like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Samsung. The company describes its technology as “a turnkey robotic solution integrator that uses AI to automate tasks that are too complex and flexible for traditional automation.” That includes standard warehousing and logistics tasks like loading, unloading, picking, and packing.
The deal finds new CEO Scott Phoenix will join the board, while a small team from the company led by Vicarious CTO Dileep George will actually join the DeepMind team. In the original Intrinsic announcement post, CEO Wendy Tan-White noted that the company has partnered with teams across Alphabet — and that’s certainly true as is the case here.
“For over a decade, Vicarious has pushed the boundaries of intelligent robotics and AI across multiple industries with visionary clients, building an interdisciplinary team and unique culture in the process,” said Tan- White said in a post. “We believe that combining our efforts will help us solve industry problems faster and accelerate our shared mission.”
Intrinsic has remained largely silent since launch, choosing instead to focus on building some tech pilots with real-world manufacturing companies. That will likely stay that way, as the announcement provides no further information about the deal. Although Tan-White promises more details, “in the coming months.”