Hyundai has gained a controlling interest in robotics firm Boston Dynamics as the Korean firm looks to accelerate its development of next-generation technologies.
The deal – which valued the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion (£793m) – has seen Hyundai take an 80 per cent stake in Boston Dynamics, while SoftBank – Boston Dynamic’s previous owners – retains the remaining 20 per cent stake through one of its affiliates.
Boston Dynamics is well known for its futuristic mobile robots that are capable of moving, walking and responding to human interaction. Through this acquisition, Hyundai intends to secure a ‘leading presence’ in the field of robotics and, as a result, implement the technology in a variety of ways from robot component manufacturing to smart logistics solutions.
Hyundai will also assist Boston Dynamics to expand its product line and global sales.
Boston Dynamics launched its first commercial robot – Spot – in June last year and now has hundreds of robots operating in all manner of industries. More recently, it unveiled Stretch, its first commercial robot designed for use in warehouse facilities and distribution centres.
Hyundai is undergoing a period of transformation too as it implements more electric vehicles across its range. The firm is also investigating further use of hydrogen fuel cells, having created a new division dedicated to the development of the alternative fuel source last year . Its Nexo is currently just one of two hydrogen cars available in the UK, with the other being Toyota’s Mirai.