Hyundai has sealed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics as it pushes further into the robotics space. The completed deal means the Korean automaker now owns an 80 percent stake in the company, known for its commercially available $1.1 billion robo-dog Spot. As a result of the acquisition, Hyundai is the third company to own Boston Dynamics, an MIT spin-off purchased by Google in 2013 and later by Softbank in 2017, which still retains a 20 percent stake through an affiliate. .
Hyundai’s grand plan for the company is to create a “robotics value chain” that encompasses the manufacturing, construction and automation of robotic components. While the company has explored the Star Wars-style walking vehicles that rely on robotics, it seems to be equally interested in Boston’s warehouse worker robots, including the Handle and Stretch stackers.
More recently, Boston has come under fire for being used by law enforcement and the military. Though there was no sign of those use cases in Hyundai’s new promo video. Instead, the clip shows the robot dog as a guide dog for the blind and a helper in a hospital.