Hyundai has sealed its acquisition of Boston Dynamics as it pushes further into the field of robotics. The completed deal means the Korean car maker now owns an 80 percent stake in the company, known for its commercially available robo-dog Spot, valuing it at $1.1 billion. As a result of the acquisition, Hyundai is the third company to own Boston Dynamics, an MIT spinoff that was purchased by Google in 2013 and later 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 spans robot component manufacturing, construction and automation. While the company has been exploring Star Wars-style walking vehicles that rely on robotics, it seems it’s just as interested in Boston’s warehouse workers including box stackers Handle and Stretch.
More recently, Boston has come under fire for allowing Spot to be utilized by law enforcement and the military. Though, there was no sign of those use cases in Hyundai’s new promo video. Instead, the clip depicts the robot canine as a guide dog for the blind and as a helper inside a hospital.
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