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Hyundai Motor Buys Controlling Stake in Boston Dynamics from Softbank Group

Hyundai Motor Group is buying an 80% stake in robotics provider Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group, worth $880m, to develop and commercialise robotics, with applications ranging from component manufacturing to smart logistics. Boston Dynamics was spun out from the MIT in 1992, bought by Google in 2013 and sold to SoftBank in 2017. Boston Dynamics makes agile, mobile robots that can work in difficult, dangerous or unstructured environments. However, it has also been exploring applications in manufacturing and logistics environments to carry out repetitive and physically demanding tasks. In March 2020, it unveiled a demonstration of future warehouse logistics with Otto Motors, in which its Handle logistics robot picked boxes and loaded pallets carried by Otto Motors’ automated mobile robots. It also has logistics applications with its computer vision-based depalletizing solution, called Pick, and will introduce a mobile robot for warehouses in 2021. Hyundai said the acquisition would mark a major step towards its strategic transformation into a smart mobility solution provider. The deal is expected to benefit each company’s strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction and automation. Hyundai said it was also looking for new mobility solutions such as autonomous driving and urban air mobility, as well as smart factory platforms. Here you can find the latest video of Boston Dynamics’ robots: https://youtu.be/fn3KWM1kuAw .