SoftBank set to takeover robotics firms from Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)
On Friday, Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp revealed that a unit of the firm will acquire two companies that manufacture walking robots from Alphabet Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG), which would add to the group’s rising artificial intelligence range.
The firm said it will acquire Boston Dynamics and Tokyo-based Schaft, which devise and build robots that replicate human movement. It did not disclose the terms of the transactions.
SoftBank’s stock surged as much as 7.9% following the deal was revealed, hitting a 17-year high.
SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son said in a statement that “Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the information revolution, and Marc (Raibert) who is CEO and founder of Boston Dynamics and his team are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots,”
Meanwhile SoftBank has embarked on an hard line purchase movement to bolster its research and development capabilities. The group is supporting the $93 billion Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund, which seeks to invest in technologies likely to grow extensively in the near future, such as robotics and artificial intelligence.
On the meantime Masayoshi Son, who is also Japan’s richest man, describes the fund as vital for setting up SoftBank for a data “gold rush” which he predicts to happen as the global economy becomes increasingly digitized.
Furthermore Schaft, a University of Tokyo spinoff, manufactures bipedal robots intended to negotiate bumpy ground.
Moreover Boston Dynamics has made so many robots that imitate human and animal movement including Atlas, a human shaped robot that co-ordinates motion and balance using its arms and legs and can pick itself up off the ground when knocked over.