The deal enables the two firms to build a robotics value chain, from robot component manufacturing to smart logistics solutions


Boston Dynamics has a portfolio of three robots - Spot, Stretch, and Atlas. (Credit: Hyundai Motor Company)

Hyundai Motor Group has closed its previously announced acquisition of an 80% stake in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank in a deal that values the mobile robot firm at $1.1bn.

The deal was signed by the parties in December 2020 and has been wrapped up after securing regulatory approvals and meeting other customary closing conditions.

SoftBank, via one of its affiliates, has retained the remaining stake of 20% in Boston Dynamics, which was established in 1992 through a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, the company develops agile, mobile robots that are integrated into the business operations of industrial firms.

The company’s portfolio consists of three robots – Spot, Stretch, and Atlas and also the Pick computer vision-based robotics solution for logistics.

Spot, which was launched in June 2020, has been designed to navigate terrain and carry out routine inspection tasks and capture data safely, accurately, and frequently.

Stretch is the newest robot of the company, which was unveiled in March 2021. The box-moving robot has been designed to support the increasing demand for flexible automation solutions in the logistics sector.

On the other hand, Atlas is a humanoid robot, which was unveiled by Boston Dynamics in 2013.

Hyundai Motor said the acquisition of the stake in Boston Dynamics has helped it take another important step in its strategic transformation into a provider of smart mobility solutions.

The South Korean automotive manufacturer said that it had significantly invested in developing future technologies such as autonomous driving, urban air mobility (UAM), artificial intelligence (AI), robots, and smart factories.

Hyundai Motor stated: “In the field of robotics, the Group aims to develop advanced technologies that enhance people’s lives and promote safety, thereby realizing the progress for humanity.”

The transaction is also expected to enable Hyundai Motor and Boston Dynamics to tap into their respective strengths in manufacturing, construction, logistics, and automation.

Together, the firms will build a robotics value chain, from manufacturing of robot components to smart logistics solutions.