Hyundai Motor Group announced its intent to purchase 80% of Boston Dynamics from SoftBank. The deal values the company at $1.1 billion. Hyundai intends to use the technology"to realize progress for humanity."
Hyundai Motor Group is doubling down on its robotics manufacturing portfolio. The company already designs and manufactures robots for automotive assembly lines. With the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, the company plans to develop robots for non-industrial use cases.
Boston Dynamics, famous for its videos of its robotic dog named Spot, builds some of the world's most advanced robotics technology. The company, which derived its technology from DARPA research, builds quadrupedal and bipedal robots that can walk like the creatures they mimic. The company also makes AI algorithms to enable these robots to adapt to their environment.
"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," said Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. "We will also contribute to the society by enhancing its safety, security, public health amid global trends of ageing society and digital transformation."
The newly formed agreement between Hyundai Motor Group and the current controlling owner, SoftBank, will give Hyundai an 80% stake in the robotics firm. In comparison, SoftBank would retain a 20% share through an affiliate partner. Hyundai Motor Group's affiliate companies, Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Mobis Co., and Hyundai Glovis Co., each took part in the acquisition. The chairman of the company, Euisun Chung, is also part of the deal.
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