Boston Dynamic is best known for Spot, an autonomous robot dog that has remote inspection capabilities. Hyundai Motor Group has just acquired a controlling interest from Softbank Group, valuing the advanced robotics company at $1.1 billion.
Under the agreement, Hyundai will hold an approximately 80% stake in Boston Dynamics and SoftBank will retain an approximately 20% stake after the closing of the transaction.
Boston Dynamics produces highly capable mobile robots with advanced mobility, dexterity and intelligence, enabling automation in difficult, dangerous, or unstructured environments.
Hyundai says it will benefit substantially from new capital, technology, affiliated customers, and the group’s global market reach enhancing commercialisation opportunity for its robot products.
Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, says: “We are delighted to have Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots, join the Hyundai team. This transaction will unite capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to spearhead innovation in future mobility. The synergies created by our union offer exciting new pathways for our companies to realize our goal – providing free and safe movement and higher plane of life experiences for humanity.”
Masayoshi Son, Representative Director, Corporate Officer, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group, adds: “Boston Dynamics is at the heart of smart robotics. We are thrilled to partner with Hyundai, one of the world’s leading global mobility companies, to accelerate the company’s path to commercialization. Boston Dynamics has a very bright future and we remain invested in the company’s success.”
Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics, comments: “Boston Dynamics’ commercial business has grown rapidly as we’ve brought to market the first robot that can automate repetitive and dangerous tasks in workplaces designed for human-level mobility. We and Hyundai share a view of the transformational power of mobility and look forward to working together to accelerate our plans to enable the world with cutting edge automation, and to continue to solve the world’s hardest robotics challenges for our customers.”
Boston Dynamics plans to expand the Spot product line early 2021 with an enterprise version of the robot with greater levels of autonomy and remote inspection capabilities, and the release of a robotic arm, which will be a breakthrough in mobile manipulation.
It’s also entering the logistics automation market with Pick, a computer vision-based depalletising solution, and will introduce a mobile robot for warehouses in 2021.