Hyundai buys 80% controlling stake in Boston Dynamics, maker of Spot the Robot Dog, for $ 921 million

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Soon, this nightmare fuel lump will feature a Hyundai logo.

Boston Dynamics / Screenshot by Bonnie Burton / CNET

Hey, remember those deeply disturbing robot dogs that were crawling on the internet for years and recently entered production? The company that makes them is called Boston Dynamics, and Hyundai just bought 80 percent of them, Hyundai confirmed on Friday. According to a report published on Wednesday by The Korea Economic Daily, the deal is worth around $ 921 million, and Hyundai says the deal now values ​​Boston Dynamics at $ 1.1 billion.

Yes, the same Hyundai that is developing attractive and affordable automobiles that you can buy is now going to deepen the robot business with an eye on future mobility. Does that mean we’ll have self-driving cars sooner or will we have a robot to help us pedal our tandem bikes? We’re not really sure, as Hyundai doesn’t go into much detail on what this actually means for the two companies.

But Hyundai says the deal was made with the aim of “advancing robotics and mobility to achieve progress for humanity”, and that Hyundai “envisions the transformation of human life” by combining its expertise in mobility and Boston Dynamics robots. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard statements like this from Hyundai, as the company already has has created a division for walking robots and mobility vehicles.


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Control the Boston Dynamics Spot robot remotely

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At the very least, it will likely be a head start for the company in designing industrial robots or robots for use in manufacturing and logistics – as we have seen in Boston Dynamics’ non-techno-canine offerings, Handle and Atlas.

After the closing of this transaction, expected in June 2021, the Japanese holding company SoftBank will retain a 20% stake in Boston Dynamics. The acquisition is the first to be led by new Hyundai chairman Chung Euisun since taking over the post in October, and buyout rumors have been circulating since early November.

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