Hyundai Motor Group has officially announced that it has purchased a controlling stake in the autonomous robot maker Boston Dynamics. The business deal was revealed to have been in the works for quite a while and valued the company at $1.1 billion.
Under this new agreement, Hyundai will acquire an 80% stake in Boston Dynamics, while Softbank, via an affiliate, will retain a 20% stake in the company. The exact financial terms surrounding the deal have yet to be disclosed.
Hyundai said the reasoning behind the deal is to “advance robotics and mobility to realize progress for humanity.” The mobility company also told Bloomberg that it hopes to build more humanoid robots for things such as caregiving for patients in hospitals. Of course, it is likely that Boston Dynamics robots will also be used for autonomous automobile factories in the future.
Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai, had this to say on the deal:
“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.”
Boston Dynamics has come a long way since it was formed in 1992. Since then, the company has taken a healthy lead in the world of autonomous robotics and even made one of its creations, Spot, available for anybody to purchase. The autonomous dog-like robot has been purchased by companies like SpaceX, which have even purchased upgrades for Spot since purchasing it.
The Hyundai deal comes just as Boston Dynamics is entering the new market of logistics automation with Pick. Pick is a robot with computer vision, making it capable of depalletizing mixed-SKU pallets. The value of this type of technology for Hyundai going forward isn’t difficult to see.
Via Boston Dynamics