As the layoff saga continues, Alphabet, Google’s parent company has now laid off robots that cleaned its cafeterias at its headquarters. This comes just a moth after the tech giant laid off 12000 human employees. As per a Wired report, Alphabet’s ‘Everyday Robots’ project — an unit under Google’s experimental X laboratories — has been shut down by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
It had trained 100 one-armed, wheeled robots to help clean the company’s cafeterias. Several of these robot prototypes were transported out of the lab and were doing useful duties throughout Google’s Bay Area facilities.
These robots used to clean tables as well as separate trash and recycling. The robots also helped keep conference rooms clean during the pandemic. With the robot division now shut off, some of its technology could be used for other divisions.
Alphabet has spent the last few years developing an integrated hardware and software system for learning, including the transfer of knowledge from the virtual to the actual world.
The robots slowly gained a greater grasp of the world around them and became more adept at executing ordinary activities, using a combination of machine learning techniques like reinforcement learning, collaborative learning, and learning from demonstration.
Meanwhile, in a bid to further cut costs, Google has even asked employees who return to work to share their work desks with a “partner” to maximise office space.