Hyundai acquires majority stake in robot maker - Just Auto
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Hyundai acquires majority stake in robot maker

By Graeme Roberts 21 Jun 2021 (Last Updated June 21st, 2021 11:39)

Hyundai has closed a deal to acquire a controlling interest in robot maker Boston Dynamics from Softbank.

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), Boston Dynamics, and SoftBank Group today announced the completion of the HMG acquisition of a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank, following the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The deal valued the mobile robot firm at US$1.1bn. Additional financial details were not disclosed.

Post-closing, HMG holds an 80% stake in Boston Dynamics while SoftBank, through one of its affiliates, retains the remaining 20%.

According to HMG, Boston Dynamics 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. Advanced robotics offer opportunities for rapid growth with the potential to positively impact society by making work safer and more productive.

HMG said in a statement: “By acquiring Boston Dynamics and securing a leading presence in the field of robotics, the Group takes another major step toward its strategic transformation into a smart mobility solution provider. To propel this transformation, the group has invested substantially in the development of future technologies, including autonomous driving, artificial intelligence (AI), Urban Air Mobility (UAM), smart factories and robots.

“In the field of robotics, the group aims to develop advanced technologies that enhance people’s lives and promote safety, thereby realising the progress for humanity.”

The deal is also expected to allow hmg and Boston Dynamics to leverage each other’s respective strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction and automation.

“Together, the group and Boston Dynamics will create a robotics value chain, from robot component manufacturing to smart logistics solutions. Additionally, the group will support Boston Dynamics’ continued expansion of its product line and global sales and service footprint,” HMG added.

Boston Dynamics launched sales of its first commercial robot, Spot, in June 2020 and now has hundreds operating in a variety of industries.

The company also recently unveiled Stretch, its first commercial robot specifically designed for warehouse facilities and distribution centres.