Intrinsic, owned by Alphabet, acquires Vicarious, another robotics software company – TechCrunch


Alphabet X-birthed Intrinsic made its grand debut last September. The subsidiary seeks to break its parent company’s somewhat spotty robotics record with a software-focused approach. Specifically, the company is looking to make manufacturing robots smarter — a concept that no doubt excites many in the space amid pandemic-fueled demand for automation.

Today, she is making her second big news: an acquisition. Intrinsic acquires Vicarious, another artificial intelligence/robotics company. The Bay Area-based company has been active for a dozen years, raising $250 million over 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 using AI to automate tasks too complex and versatile for traditional automation.” This includes standard warehouse and logistics tasks such as palletizing, picking and packing.

The deal finds new CEO Scott Phoenix on board, while a small company team led by Vicarious CTO Dileep George will actually join the DeepMind research team. In Intrinsic’s first announcement post, CEO Wendy Tan-White noted that the company was collaborating with teams at Alphabet — and that certainly seems to be the case here.

“For more than a decade, Vicarious has been pushing the boundaries of intelligent robotics and AI across multiple industries with visionary customers, creating an interdisciplinary team and unique culture,” Tan-White said in a post. “We believe that the combination of our efforts will help us solve industry problems faster and accelerate our common mission.”

Intrinsic has remained quiet since launch, opting instead to focus on building tech pilots with real-world manufacturing companies. That should continue to be the case, as the announcement doesn’t offer much more information about the deal. Although Tan-White promises more details, “in the coming months.”

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