Automaker’s new CEO planning more robotic sales for company
Boston Dynamics originally MIT project
A new report says that Boston Dynamics, the company that makes the once hilarious and now eerily competent robot dogs is being purchased by Hyundai Motor. The purchase is yet to be finalised, but the deal is expected soon for just less than 1 trillion won.
That’s a big price, coming in at right around 1.17 billion Canadian, reports The Korea Economic Daily, and the acquisition of the company is expected to be finalised at a board meeting today.
The report says that this is the first such deal for Hyundai Motor’s new CEO Chung Euisun, and it pushes the automaker toward robotics as a way to grow the business alongside its electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
It may seem an odd grab for Hyundai, as Boston Dynamics has traded hands multiple times, originally spun out from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1990s, then acquired by Google in 2014 and then by SoftBank in 2017, but remember that robotics are essential to modern car and truck production. Meaning that terrifying prospects like the company’s robot dog Spot could have some serious real-world applications in the world of manufacturing. Or maybe Hyundai is just taking a different route to autonomous driving, letting you toss your robot driver behind the wheel as needed (ok, that’s not very likely, but it’s a cool idea).
Hyundai Motos has said before that it plans to invest up to 1.5 trillion won (CAD 1.7B) into robotics by 2025 and Chung has said that robotics will make up to a fifth of the company’s overall business in the future with just half of sales automobiles by that time.