Hyundai is currently in discussions with SoftBank to acquire Boston Dynamics, Bloomberg reports. The carmaker seems to have embarked on a research process around robotic and robotic systems. The acquisition of Boston Dynamics could come when the U.S. company is known for the various exploits achieved by its robots.
Boston Dynamics could change ownership again. SoftBank is in talks to sell this entity to Hyundai, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, November 10, 2020. The amount of this transaction could amount to $1 billion, but the terms of the agreement are still under discussion, and it may not be successful.
Hyundai and SoftBank declined to comment to Bloomberg.
The automaker states in its response that it “continually explores a variety of investments and partnership opportunities.” Boston Dynamics, for its part, assured that its work continues to arouse the curiosity of partners “interested in exploring a deeper business relationship with our company.” Boston DYNAMICS HAS ALREADY PASSED THROUGH Google
Boston Dynamics is an entity born from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the early 1990s.
The company was bought by Google in 2013 and then sold the subsidiary to SoftBank in 2017.
In its early days, Boston Dynamics operated more like a research lab than a company marketing
products. She has developed different robots, more or less challenging to handle, and very expensive. Boston Dynamics has proved itself popular to the general public with the release of videos showing its robots’ exploits, Saltos, and other prowess of the Atlas biped to the quadruped robot Spot that looks like a dog. It wasn’t until 2019 that Boston Dynamics began marketing Spot.
However, this business model has yet to be proven. A single robot without accessories is sold for a base price of $74,500. Aimed at the professional world, it must nevertheless find cases of relevant uses to seduce companies. Manufacturers LOOK TO ROBOTICS
The automaker Hyundai uses robotic systems in its factories.
But it could also study the use of robots in deploying services like final kilometer delivery, such as competitor Ford, who tested the bipedal robot of the start-up Agility Robotics, a robot that looks a bit like Atlas. Seizing Boston Dynamics would allow Hyundai to have teams of sharp engineers in this field and functional robots.
Lately, the manufacturer seems to have embarked on an innovation
approach. Hyundai has unveiled the Elevate concept car in 2019, which looks like a robot car. More recently, the company announced the creation of a new entity to develop Ultimate Mobility Vehicles. Vehicles of a new kind that will have to be able to move on all types of terrain using wheels and robotic mechanisms close to animal legs. This research could also be of interest to Boston Dynamics engineers.