South Korean Hyundai Motor Group has acquired controlling interest in mobile robot firm Boston Dynamics from SoftBank for an undisclosed sum. The three companies announced the completion of the acquisition, following the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The acquisition of Boston Dynamics helps Hyundai secure a leading presence in the field of robotics, as it takes another major step toward its strategic transformation into a smart mobility solution provider.
While the deal valued Boston Dynamics at $ 1.1 billion, no additional financial details were disclosed. Hyundai now holds 80% stake in Boston Dynamics, while SoftBank, through one of its affiliates, retains the remaining 20% stake.
Boston Dynamics, an American engineering and robotics design company, is the established leader in developing agile, mobile robots that have been successfully integrated into business operations of many of the world's leading industrial firms.
Hyundai has invested substantially in the development of future technologies, including autonomous driving, artificial intelligence (AI), Urban Air Mobility (UAM), smart factories and robots. And this acquisition would further propel its transformation. Hyundai aims to develop advanced technologies in the field of robotics, which enhance people's lives and promote safety, thereby realising the progress for humanity, a release said.
Together, Hyundai and Boston Dynamics will create a robotics value chain, from robot component manufacturing to smart logistics solutions, said the company. In addition, Hyundai will continue to support the American company’s expansion of its product line and global sales and service footprint.
Both companies said they are looking at leveraging each other’s respective strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction and automation.
A year back, in June 2020, Boston Dynamics launched sales of its first commercial robot called Spot, and now claims to have hundreds of robots operating in a variety of industries, including power utilities, construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining. In addition, the company recently unveiled Stretch – its first commercial robot, specifically designed for warehouse facilities and distribution centres.
Hyundai has also released a new video to reveal how it would further advance mobility for humanity incorporating Boston Dynamics' expertise.