Boston Dynamics, a firm is usually known for its robots such as Spot, Stretch, BigDog and Atlas has been acquired by Hyundai for US $1.1 billion. Boston Dynamics is known for creating robots that are versatile and can perform a plethora of tasks. Boston Dynamics was created in the year 1992 and since then they’ve been acquired and left by several companies. In 2013, Google acquired the company due to its expertise in robotics and machine learning but then it was sold off to Softbank in the year 2017. According to Hyundai Motor Group, Boston Dynamics have now been acquired by them which is a result of a whopping 80% controlling stake in the company. The remaining 20% will be with Softbank which was the owner before the deal. The deal is expected to beneficial for both the parties and it is claimed to be a sort of a ‘synergy’ by Hyundai.
Boston Dynamic has gone through several changes in ownership which has caused hindrance in its growth and not allowed consistency due to constant changes of plans. This deal could be beneficial for Hyundai as Boston dynamics is very well known for its robots and Hyundai always seems to be interested in innovative future mobility solutions. Boston Dynamics has been working for several years in the robotics industry but they only started selling robots last year. Their first robot to be sold last year was the Dog Sport for $74,500. The reason for the hesitance in selling the robots could be the lack of experience in the mass production of these robots. Mass production is no big deal for Hyundai due to how large scale they are around the world hence this could mean more business and profit for them.
Hyundai Motor Group seems to have long term plans with Boston Dynamics after the acquisition. One might argue that the robotics industry is far from the automobile industry but Hyundai has thought of many other benefits. Firstly, they could use the A.I technology to improve its autonomous driving technology on their cars. Hyundai also wants to become a smart mobility solutions provider which could take inputs from Boston Dynamics. There were also rumours Hyundai making a hybrid wheeled/legged concept car. It will be interesting to see how this acquisition works and we are hoping to see how Boston Dynamics influences Hyundai’s future product developments.