Japanese SoftBank Group announced an agreement to purchase from the holding company Alphabet, which includes Google, the manufacturers of robots Boston Dynamics and Schaft. This is stated in the company’s message.
The parties do not disclose the amount and other terms of the transaction. The message of the Japanese company only says that the deal is consistent with SoftBank’s investment in “paradigm shift technology” and views on the development of the next wave of intelligent robotics.
“To date, there are many issues that human capabilities still can not be solved. Smart robotics will be a key factor in the next stage of the information revolution, and the team of Boston Dynamics is the clear leader in the field of dynamic robots, “said Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank Group.
The message does not specify whether Boston Dynamics will work in the form of a SoftBank unit or become part of the $ 93 billion Vision Fund created by the holding for investments in startups, developing artificial intelligence technologies, “Internet of things” and other innovative spheres.
SoftBank shares after the report on the deal grew by 7% at the auction in Tokyo. The value of Alphabet securities has not changed much.
About plans Alphabet sell Boston Dynamics first became known in the spring of 2016. Sources Bloomberg then said that the management of the holding doubts the ability of Boston Dynamics to make a profit in the coming years.
Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 by Mark Raybert. The company specializes in creating robots that move like humans or animals. Google acquired the company in 2013 for $ 500 million.
Schaft was founded on the basis of the Robotics Laboratory of the JSK Robotics Laboratory of the University of Tokyo. It develops two-legged robots designed to perform industrial and service tasks.
SoftBank already has the experience of acquiring manufacturers of robotics, reminds Bloomberg. In 2012, the holding acquired the French Aldebaran Robotics SA. In 2014, the company introduced the robot Pepper for $ 1600, calling it the world’s first robot with emotions.