Google X, the secretive research and development facility that became a subsidiary of Alphabet with the reorganization of Google, is dropping the "Google" in its name.
Now known simply as "X," the name change heralds a major structural overhaul, which will look to prevent the company from releasing consumer products that are destined to fail, and on the flip side, to ensure that products released to the market are set up for success.
Another change coming to X is that Google's robotics division, which has been mired in low morale with the lack of leadership since the founder of the unit left back in 2014, is being folded into it.
Alphabet is reframing the robotics division, transforming it from a stand-alone unit within Google into a part of X.
In addition, Alphabet has hired tech industry veteran Hans Peter Brondmo, CEO and co-founder of social networking company Plum before it was acquired by Nokia in 2009, to help in the management of the division.
X spokesperson Courtney Hohne confirmed that the moves were happening, but refused to provide further comments.
The interest and investments in robotics have been growing, as companies from a wide range of industries, including online retailers such as Amazon and car manufacturers, are showing a new focus on robotics.
"Everything is happening, from industry manufacturing to self-driving cars to drones to personal robots to A.I. systems," said Fei-Fei Li, Stanford University's director of artificial intelligence laboratory.
Google's robotics division was founded in 2013 with the man at the helm being Andy Rubin, who was the leader of the development of the Android mobile operating system. However, the unit has had no leader since Rubin departed in 2014 to launch a technology incubator that helps startup companies in turning ideas into businesses.
The integration of the unit into X makes sense as several projects being developed by the facility utilize robotic elements, such as self-driving vehicles; Project Wing, the package delivery service that uses drone aircraft; and Makani, which are high-flying kites which capture wind energy.
X will be reviewing the robotic division's projects to be able to refocus them to solve particular problems, a process that will be assisted by Brondmo, who has a background in project management.