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SoftBank is buying Boston Dynamics from Alphabet

Japanese tech giant SoftBank is in talks to acquire Boston Dynamics from Alphabet, after the latter has reportedly been trying to offload the robot-maki...

Callum Rivett
|Jun 9|magazine4 min read

Japanese tech giant SoftBank is in talks to acquire Boston Dynamics from Alphabet, after the latter has reportedly been trying to offload the robot-making firm for the past year.

Alphabet acquired Boston Dynamics back in 2013, but their relationship supposedly worsened leading to a breakdown in communications. Google's parent company offered the tech company around and tried to strike a deal with Toyota according to reports, but could not agree on terms.

SoftBank is known for its Pepper robot and for being a major mergers and acquisitions player, whilst they have also snapped up secretive robotics firm Schaft as a part of the deal and had purchased ARM Holdings for $24bn in September last year.

The deal aligns with SoftBank's devotion to paradigm-shifting technologies and its aim to revolutionise the next wave of smart robotics. 

"Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and the team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders," said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank. 

"Boston Dynamics will continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier and I am thrilled to welcome them to the team."

CEO and founder of Boston Dynamics Marc Raibert was equally as positive, stating: "We share SoftBank's belief that advances in technology should be for the benefit of humanity."

"Our mission is to push the boundaries of what advanced robots can do and to create useful applications in a smarter and more connected world, and we look forward to working with SoftBank as a team." 

Schaft, meanwhile,  was founded in the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo but has remained largely secretive since 2012, with its website offering up an error message. Schaft was also purchased by Google in 2013, but are now following Boston Dynamics to SoftBank.

Details of the deal have not yet been released.