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Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics is arguably the best-known robot company around, in part because its demonstration videos tend to go viral. Now it is attempting to transform from an R&D company to a robotics business, with an eye on profitability for the first time.
When we interviewed Boston Dynamics founder and former CEO Marc Raibert in November 2019, we discussed the company’s customers, potential applications, AI, simulation, and those viral videos. But it turns out Raibert was transitioning out of the CEO role at the time — current CEO Robert Playter told us in an interview this month that he took the helm in November. We sat down to discuss Playter’s first year as CEO; profitability; Spot, Pick, Handle, and Atlas; and the company’s broader roadmap, including which robots are next.
Almost a year as CEO
Boston Dynamics hired Playter in 1994. After 18 years as vice president of engineering, Playter left for a director role at Google. Four years later, he rejoined Boston Dynamics as chief operating officer and then a year later became CEO.
“The company is transforming,” Playter said. “There’s a lot of change that’s taking place. And we’re trying to do some things …
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