Companies to Collaborate in Advancing the Development of Smart Robotics Technologies
TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”) today announced a subsidiary of SoftBank has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL, GOOG). The transaction aligns with SoftBank’s investments in paradigm-shifting technologies and its vision of catalyzing the next wave of smart robotics. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., 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. I am thrilled to welcome them to the SoftBank family and look forward to supporting them as they continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier, safer and more fulfilling.”
Marc Raibert, CEO and founder of Boston Dynamics, said, “We at Boston Dynamics are excited to be part of SoftBank’s bold vision and its position creating the next technology revolution, and we share SoftBank’s belief that advances in technology should be for the benefit of humanity. We look forward to working with SoftBank in our mission to push the boundaries of what advanced robots can do and to create useful applications in a smarter and more connected world.”
As part of the transaction with Alphabet, SoftBank has also agreed to acquire Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. Founded in 2012 in the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, the company has continued its pioneering work under the leadership of co-founders Yuto Nakanishi, Junichi Urata, Narito Suzuki and Koichi Nishiwaki.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
SoftBank is a global technology player that aspires to drive the Information Revolution. SoftBank is comprised of the holding company SoftBank Group Corp. (TYO: 9984) and its global portfolio of companies, which includes advanced telecommunications, internet services, AI, smart robotics, IoT and clean energy technology providers. In September 2016, ARM Holdings plc, the world’s leading semiconductor IP company, joined the SoftBank group. To learn more, please visit www.SoftBank.jp/en/.
About Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics develops advanced robots, such as Next Generation Atlas, Spot and Handle. Since its founding, Boston Dynamics has become a leader in the design, development and field testing of advanced robots that have agility, dexterity, perception and intelligence. For more information visit www.BostonDynamics.com.
Schaft is a global leader in the field of humanoid bipedal robots. The company's founders emerged from the renowned JSK Robotics Laboratory within the University of Tokyo. Schaft is driven by its vision of a near future society where bipedal robots perform critical industrial and service tasks.
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Benjamin Spicehandler / Hannah Dunning