It has been reported that Hyundai Motor Co. is in talks to buy the robotics company that is responsible for several interesting robots, Boston Dynamics Inc., and their robots include Spot and Atlas –two of the interesting bots to walk the Earth.
A sale of Boston Dynamics would mark another twist in the trajectory of a company that spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1990s and operated independently before being bought up by Google in 2013. It was then sold to Softbank in 2017. And, now, it may be headed to a new home, as Huawei is allegedly in talks with the robot maker’s parent company.
Proposed terms of the deal would give the South Korean automaker control of the robotics company in a transaction valued at as much as $1 billion, said one of the people, all of whom asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The terms have yet to be finalized, and the deal could fall apart, said the people.
Representatives for Boston Dynamics, Hyundai and SoftBank declined to comment on the deal talks. In emailed statements, Hyundai said it’s “continuously exploring various investment and partnership opportunities.” Boston Dynamics said its work “continues to excite partners interested in exploring a deeper commercial relationship with our company.”
And that’s because Hyundai, rather than just being a vehicle manufacturer, also does a surprising amount of work in the robotics sphere. Their focus is largely industrial but the company also has an eye on the future — like with the walking Hyundai Cradle robot car which might actually make it to market. And the South Korean company also has its eye on just the sort of innovation that Boston Dynamics is keen on, making the potential deal seem like a great idea.
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