Google decided to sell their robotics business to Japanese SoftBank. The Japanese tech company announced that they are buying Boston Dynamics from Google’s parent company Alphabet, and explained that this acquisition will definitely help them become leaders in the smart robotics industry.
Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, is a great robot enthusiast that believes how robots will outnumber humans very soon. Considering that Boston Dynamics is known for robots that can move almost like humans this was a logical step for them. SoftBank is most known as one of the companies that were included in the development of Pepper, a robot that can express human emotions.
The acquisitions do not stop there, as they will be buying Schaft from alphabet as well. The main reason why Alphabet is getting rid of robotic companies is that they probably won’t be able to produce a commercial product in the following few years and that Andy Rubin, key man behind robotic development in Alphabet left the company. However, these are only presumptions as the company declined to comment their latest moves.
Boston Dynamics was established in 1992 as a spinoff from MIT and is highly dedicated to developing robots that can imitate and move like living beings. They claim to be the first to produce a robot that can move like an animal and have also created a robot that can run 32 km/h.
SoftBank is putting a lot of effort into developing their business that includes smart robots, artificial intelligence, telecom business and so-called Internet of Things. Recently they did an acquisition of UK company specialized in chip production – ARM. In may 2017, they funded Vision Fund, along with Saudi Arabian’s sovereign wealth fund, $100 billion vehicle that will invest in robotics and development of artificial intelligence.