Rumors circulated a little over a year ago that executives at Google parent company Alphabet Inc. were looking to part ways with Boston Dynamics, the engineering and robotics design firm best known for creating some of the most advanced (and creepy) robots the world has ever seen.
Amazon and Toyota Research Institute were named as two potential suitors but in the end, it was Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank that scored the acquisition.
Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group, said smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the information revolution. The executive added that Marc Raibert and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots and that he is thrilled to welcome them to the SoftBank family.
Raibert echoed similar sentiments, noting that Boston Dynamics is excited to be part of SoftBank’s bold vision. He said they look forward to working with SoftBank in their mission to push the boundaries of what advanced robots can do and to create useful applications in a smarter and more connected world.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Boston Dynamics has been creeping out the collective Internet for more than two years with videos showcasing its robots’ advancing capabilities. Its most recent robot, Handle, is ridiculously impressive (yet it’s still classified as the stuff of nightmares).
As part of the deal with Alphabet, SoftBank has also agreed to acquire Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft.