Alphabet's robotic subsidiary Intrinsic Innovation LLC has laid off 40 employees, which makes up about 20% of its workforce. The Information broke the news and was backed up by multiple sources including TechCrunch, which received a statement from the company.
“Intrinsic’s leadership has made the difficult decision to let go a number of our team members,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We have communicated the news directly with them. We fully acknowledge how hard this will be and are offering as much proactive support as possible.”
Alphabet's X Development LLC innovation unit launched Intrinsic in 2021. The Google Inc. parent company said at the time that Intrinsic would develop software to give industrial robots “the ability to sense, learn, and automaticly make adjustments as they're completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications.”
Layoffs come after recent acquisitions
Intrinsic told TechCrunch it was making the decision as part of “shifts in prioritization and our longer-term strategic direction.”
The news comes about a month after the company announced that it had acquired Open Source Robotics Corp. (OSRC), Open Robotics’ commercial division, for an undisclosed amount. In April 2022, Intrinsic purchased robotic software company Vicarious.
The Alphabet unit added the layoffs “will ensure Intrinsic can continue to allocate resources to our highest-priority initiatives, such as building our software and AI platform, integrating the recent strategic acquisitions of Vicarious and OSRC (commercial arm Open Robotics), and working with key industry partners.”
Intrinsic joins downward tech trend
Intrinsic is the latest in a long line of technology companies to announce staff cuts in the past few months.
Verily Life Sciences, another Alphabet-owned subsidiary, announced earlier this week it was cutting 15% of its workforce, affecting about 240 people.
Some other robotics players that have announced layoffs in the past six months include Amazon Robotics, Pudu Robotics, Shopify (parent of 6 River Systems), Nuro Inc., and Starship Technologies.