AI News, SoftBank Acquires Boston Dynamics and Schaft

SoftBank Acquires Boston Dynamics and Schaft

Minutes ago, SoftBank announced that it will be acquiring Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Google parent Alphabet for an undisclosedsum, in order to “collaborate in advancing the development of smart robotics technologies.” Boston Dynamics and Schaft were two of the nine robot companies that Google bought in 2013 to form the core of its robotics division, headed by Android founder Andy Rubin.

Boston Dynamics, led by legendary robot builderMarc Raibert, just kept on doing its own awesome thing, unveiling ever more agile and capable quadrupeds and humanoids, and Schaft, founded by a team of University of Tokyo engineers,quietly improved its bipedal robots, with a surprise sneak peak at a new dual-legged machine last April.

As Google’s robotics group (eventually swallowed up by Alphabet’s advanced tech division X) continued to not produce all that much and began slowly losing talent, the rumors were that Boston Dynamics in particular was looking for a new owner, and they’ve finally found one, in SoftBank.

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.

While as far as we know neither Boston Dynamics nor Schaft have robots with much in the way of near-term commercial potential, what these companies have in common is that they’re developing capable physical platforms backed by reliable software with an eye towards performing useful tasks outside of structured environments.

SOFTBANK ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE BOSTON DYNAMICS Companies to Collaborate in Advancing the Development of Smart Robotics Technologies

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.”

(TYO: 9984) and its global portfolio of companies, which includes advanced telecommunications, internet services, AI, smart robotics, IoT and clean energy technology providers.

SoftBank to buy robotics businesses from Alphabet Inc

TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) said it would buy two firms that build walking robots from Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), adding to the Japanese company’s growing artificial intelligence portfolio.

The group is backing the $93 billion Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund that seeks to invest in technologies expected to grow significantly in the near future, such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

Boston Dynamics has produced a number of robots that mimic human and animal movement, including Atlas, a humanoid model that co-ordinates motion and balance using its arms and legs and can pick itself up off the ground when knocked over.

The company was acquired by Google in 2013 during a robotics shopping spree led by Android creator Andy Rubin, but the team struggled to find its place within the tech giant after Rubin’s departure, former Boston Dynamics employees said.

SoftBank to buy two walking robot manufacturers from Google's parent company Alphabet

SoftBank said it would buy two firms that build walking robots from Google's parent company, Alphabet, adding to the Japanese company's growing artificial intelligence portfolio.

The group is backing the $93bn Vision Fund, the world's largest private equity fund that seeks to invest in technologies expected to grow significantly in the near future, such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

Boston Dynamics has produced a number of robots that mimic human and animal movement, including Atlas, a humanoid model that co-ordinates motion and balance using its arms and legs and can pick itself up off the ground when knocked over.

The company was acquired by Google in 2013 during a robotics shopping spree led by Android creator Andy Rubin, but the team struggled to find its place within the tech giant after Mr Rubin's departure, former Boston Dynamics employees said.