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Google parent to pull plug on bipedal robot development

Tokyo-born unit Schaft lost its way after departure of robot chief Andy Rubin

Bipedal robots developed by Schaft are designed to save human lives at disaster sites.

TOKYO -- Alphabet, the holding company behind Google, will cease development of bipedal robots, giving up on the prospect of early commercialization. The company is expected to dissolve the project later this year and relocate employees involved in development to other departments within Alphabet or help them find jobs elsewhere.

Google entered the robotics business in 2013 by buying Schaft, a tech startup founded by University of Tokyo researchers, and other companies. But the company scaled back the business, due in part to the departure of Andy Rubin in 2014, who has led the robotics business.

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