SoftBank to buy Boston Dynamics

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SAN FRANCISCO: Japan-based SoftBank Group late Thursday announced it is buying animal-based robot maker Boston Dynamics from Google-parent Alphabet.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but SoftBank portrayed the move as in sync with its vision for robotics.

“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities,” SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son said in a release.

“Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution.”


SoftBank will also buy Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft as part of its deal with Alphabet, according to the release.

“We share SoftBank’s belief that advances in technology should be for the benefit of humanity,” Boston Dynamics chief executive Marc Raibert said in the release.

“We look forward to working with SoftBank in our mission to push the boundaries of what advanced robots can do.”

SoftBank has invested in a human-shaped “Pepper” robot that can serve as a helpful companion, while the line-up at Boston Dynamics includes four-legged machines with names like “Big Dog” and “Wildcat.”

Boston Dynamics also has humanoid “Atlas,” which uses “balance and whole-body skills.”

Alphabet bought Boston Dynamics in 2013 and has reportedly been looking to sell the acquisition for about a year.

 

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