Hyundai confirms $880 million acquisition of Boston Dynamics

midian182

Posts: 6,681   +59
Staff member
In a nutshell: Boston Dynamics, the company behind a strange and often terrifying series of robots, has been acquired by Hyundai Motor Group for around $880 million.

Reports of Hyundai's interest in Boston Dynamics arrived last month. The robotics firm has changed hands several times since it was spun off from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology project in 1992, having been acquired by Google in 2013, which sold it to SoftBank in 2017. The companies never revealed how much the deals were worth.

Hyundai said the purchase values Boston Dynamics at $1.1 billion. The automotive giant has agreed to buy an 80 percent stake in the robot maker, making the deal worth around $880 million. SoftBank will hang on to the remaining 20 percent through an affiliate.

One of Boston Dynamics' best-known creations is its Spot robot. The Massachusetts State Police bomb squad had famously used the canine-like machine, which went on sale earlier this year for an eye-watering $74,500.

Another product from Boston Dynamics' stable is Atlas. The bipedal robot has evolved from performing parkour and backflips in 2017 to leaping over logs and performing gymnastics last year.

As reported by Reuters, Hyundai Motor Group's chairman Euisun Chung said robotics would account for 20 percent of the company's future business, with car-making taking up 50 percent, followed by urban air mobility at 30 percent.

Hyundai said Boston Dynamics has "multiple key technologies" of interest to the company, including those related to "perception, navigation, and intelligence." It added that both firms could "leverage each other's respective strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction, and automation."

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Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,159   +1,297
TechSpot Elite
I find this kinda disturbing. Hyundai is a global industrial superpower with very few peers at their level. I worry that they might weaponise this technology.

TODAY:
robots_0.jpg

TOMORROW:
71RO0uxNrBL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,812   +1,041
Not surprising. Hyundai's robotics department is basically Boston Dynamic's alumni association. They're probably planning a reunion party right now.

I find this kinda disturbing. Hyundai is a global industrial superpower with very few peers at their level. I worry that they might weaponise this technology.

TODAY:
robots_0.jpg

TOMORROW:
71RO0uxNrBL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

And Google or Softbank were better? What about Honda? They were the other potential buyer. This technology is going to weaponized by someone eventually, whether it is Boston Dynamics or someone else. But lets put it this way: The DOD cancelled Boston Dynamics contracts back when they did have them - that was what prompted the sale to Google. The technology just is not ready for the battlefield, not yet.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 114   +111
followed by urban air mobility at 30 percent


It was a good time to be alive, after the 2021 Great Pandemic blew away, Hyundai Bots secured the streets as Laser Droids idly hovered overhead blasting Vulture Boy protestors into the Great Swamp of Despair.

Been there done that watched the movie, gave it a Yelp 8 for an exceptionally satisfying noise track. I have seen the future and it's going to be mild suck with a touch of death.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,159   +1,297
TechSpot Elite
Not surprising. Hyundai's robotics department is basically Boston Dynamic's alumni association. They're probably planning a reunion party right now.



And Google or Softbank were better? What about Honda? They were the other potential buyer. This technology is going to weaponized by someone eventually, whether it is Boston Dynamics or someone else. But lets put it this way: The DOD cancelled Boston Dynamics contracts back when they did have them - that was what prompted the sale to Google. The technology just is not ready for the battlefield, not yet.
Google, Softbank and Honda don't have anywhere near the industrial might of Hyundai. This isn't the Hyundai Motor Group, this is Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder and largest manufacturer of marine engines. They're already able to make much LARGER things than those other three, so yeah, they probably would have been better.
 

TempleOrion

Posts: 67   +43
Google, Softbank and Honda don't have anywhere near the industrial might of Hyundai. This isn't the Hyundai Motor Group, this is Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder and largest manufacturer of marine engines. They're already able to make much LARGER things than those other three, so yeah, they probably would have been better.

It *is* the Hyundai Motor Group (which includes Kia plus Hyundai Engineering & Construction and has its own Robotics lab) that is buying BD, not HHI (a completely separate company that owns Hyundai Robotics)...