Alphabet sold its influential robo business to tech giant Softbank, making Boston Dynamics robotics no longer Google property. Who snatched up its creations?
Fans of the future are well aware of Boston Dynamics.
The robotics company releases startling mechanical creations that are, let’s face it, creepy.
Yet, while the hairs on the nape of your neck stand to attention, so does your curiosity.
The prototypes walk, scamper, jump, spin, duck, weave, and more. Additionally, they move with a fluidity reminiscent of organic species.
Consequently, its four-legged, humanoid, and wheeled robots have both captured, and terrorised the imaginations of many.
Even Boston Dynamics’ founder Marc Raibert described one of the company’s makes as a “nightmare-inducing robot.”
Boston Dynamics robotics no longer Google property
However, bad dreams and night sweats aren’t the reason why Google sold off its high-profile robotics branch.
While the cutting edge machines rake in YouTube views from their viral videos, they’re not making products that are marketable.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, created a robotics division in 2013. The move was led by Andy Rubin, former co-founder of the Android mobile unit.
Then, Rubin left Google in 2014 to create a startup incubator.
His departure led Alphabet to readdress if its other subsidiaries could function as independent businesses that bring in revenue.
An Alphabet spokesperson said that Boston Dynamics probably wouldn’t release sellable products in the near future.
Thus, telecommunications firm Softbank announced Friday that it will buy Boston Dynamics, and another robotics branch, Schaft. It did not disclose a specific amount, although some sources cite $100mn (£79mn).
Additionally, CEO of SoftBank Masayoshi Son believes that robots will truly become an integral part of society in the foreseeable future. He said:
“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities.
“Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the information revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots.”
Therefore, it’s expanding its business portfolio to include AI, the Internet of Things, and smart robotics.
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