Hyundai Eyes Boston Dynamics Buy

  • General
  • November 9, 2020
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  • 5 minutes read

 

Marc Raibert, Founder & CEO, Boston Dynamics.
Photo credit: Web Summitlicensed under CC BY 2.0


Korean automaker Hyundai is in talks to acquire robot maker Boston Dynamics from its current owner SoftBank, according to a report [paywalled] from Bloomberg that cites “people familiar with the matter”. According to Bloomberg, Hyundai is seeking to take control of Boston Dynamics in a transaction valued as much as $1 billion. 

It’s such that a Hyundai acquisition of Boston Dynamics would make the Korean automaker the robotics company’s third owner in seven years. First, Boston Dynamics was acquired by Google in 2013 and was housed under the company before another sale to Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank in 2017. Hyundai wouldn’t be a surprising acquirer for Boston Dynamics given the automaker has major use for industrial robots.

Boston Dynamics is more akin to a research organization rather than a business, churning out sophisticated robots that, however, don’t generate much revenue. It was only last year that Boston Dynamics launched its first commercial product, the Spot dog-like robot. 

Tracing its history, Boston Dynamics is a company that was spun off from the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) nearly three decades ago. Early in its history, the company worked on aircraft computer simulations for the US Navy before pivoting to making physical robots. Boston Dynamics can trace much of its work to collaborations with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

A transaction of as much as $1 billion would mark a big price for Boston Dynamics. Before now, the financial terms of the company’s previous sales to Google and SoftBank weren’t disclosed. 



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