Hyundai Motor Group has agreed to acquire approximately 80% stake in American engineering and robotics design company Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group for US$1.1bn. The move can fuel Hyundai’s long-term goal to become a smart mobility solutions provider by leveraging Boston Dynamics’ robots such as bipedal and quadruped equipped with 3D vision, navigation and advanced intelligence, says GlobalData.
‘In 2013, Google purchased Boston Dynamics to power its core robotic division and eventually create new robotics technologies for commercial applications. But the startup did not meet any commercial success and began losing talent after Google’s restructuring into Alphabet.
In 2017, SoftBank acquired Boston Dynamics to push its smart robotics capabilities. Apart from a few interesting videos of its humanoid and dog-like robots, there was no direct visible benefit to SoftBank.
The last two years saw both automakers and tech giants ramp up their bets on autonomous vehicles by acquiring startups into self-driving technology. Apple acquired Drive.ai, Amazon purchased Zoox and Daimler snapped Torc Robotics.