Hyundai Motor Group has announced the completion of its acquisition of a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank. The deal valued the Massachusetts-based mobile robot firm at US$1.1 billion (RM4.58 billion).
With the deal done, the Korean carmaker now holds an 80% stake in Boston Dynamics. The remaining 20% has been retained by Masayoshi Son’s conglomerate, through one of its affiliates.
Boston Dynamics is described as the established leader in developing agile, mobile robots that have been successfully integrated into business operations of leading industrial firms worldwide. Advanced robotics offer opportunities for rapid growth with the potential to positively impact society by making work safer and more productive.
By securing a leading presence in the field of robotics via this acquisition, Hyundai takes a major step toward its strategic transformation into a “Smart Mobility Solution Provider”. The Korean company has also invested big in the development of future tech such as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, urban air mobility and smart factories.
Hyundai says that the deal is also expected to allow it and Boston Dynamics to leverage each other’s respective strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction and automation. Together, they will create a robotics value chain, from robot component manufacturing to smart logistics solutions. Of course, the new owner will support Boston Dynamics’ expansion of its product line and global sales and service footprint.
Boston Dynamics rolled out its first commercial robot, called Spot, in June 2020 and now has hundreds of robots operating in a variety of industries, including power utilities, construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining. The company recently unveiled Stretch, its first robot designed specifically for warehouse facilities and distribution centres. See the robots in action in the video above.