We have seen several transactions take place this year. Others were due to corporations going bankrupt, while others were aimed at acquisitions to expand their business. A recent study suggests that Boston Dynamics has been officially acquired from Softbank by Hyundai Motors.
The Japanese conglomerate decided to see the robot manufacturer win 1 trillion won (US$917 million) and completed the purchase yesterday at a board meeting. The rumors first began in November that the agreement was being negotiated by both businesses. Boston Dynamics is famous for its Spot robotic dog, which it began selling for $75,000 in mid-2020.
In 2017, Dynamics changed hands, becoming a subsidiary of SoftBank, a Japanese investment giant. For the business, it was an awkward fit, and a tough year for SoftBank probably did not help matters. At the very least, after being owned by a firm whose best-known robot is Pepper, the humanoid hospitality bot, Hyundai is a more reasonable home for the company.
Hyundai Motors Recent Major Investments:
Hyundai Motors has been making some major investments in the category, as we noted when reporting on previous rumors about the acquisition. A new joint venture with Aptiv to commercialize autonomous driving systems is included in the list. The recently revealed ultimate mobility vehicles are also available, or UMV, a borderline sci-fi vehicle with legs.
For many decades now, Boston Dynamics has, of course, been blurring the boundaries between science fiction and fact. More recently, however, it has taken a much stronger interest in selling its sophisticated technologies. The company introduced Spot under SoftBank, a quadruped robot drawing on years of robotic creativity, including the famous Big Dog.
“Hyundai Motor Group will provide Boston Dynamics a strategic partner affording access to Hyundai Motor Group’s in-house manufacturing capability and cost benefits stemming from efficiencies of scale,” according to the release. “Boston Dynamics will benefit substantially from new capital, technology, affiliated customers, and Hyundai Motor Group’s global market reach enhancing commercialization opportunity for its robot products.”