Today we saw the first glimpse of Softbank’s influence on Boston Dynamics. Softbank acquired Boston Dynamics in June 2017 for an undisclosed sum.
Google has ended one part of its foray into robotics with a deal to sell Boston Dynamics, maker of the BigDog quadruped and Atlas humanoid robots, to Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank Corp., known for its Pepper robots.
Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp has said that a unit of the company will buy two firms that build walking robots from Alphabet, which would add to the group’s growing artificial intelligence portfolio.The Japanese company will buy Boston Dynamics and Tokyo-based Schaft, which design and manufacture robots that simulate human movement. It did not disclose the terms of the transactions.
Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank Group, is Japan’s second wealthiest person and a strong believer in the singularity — a sort of point of no return in which human civilization, rules, and technology become incomprehensible to previous generations.
Imagine a future where your fridge, your washing machine, even your hairbrush, is a computer. Everyday appliances, all of a sudden transformed into intelligent, thinking and analytical machines.
And then think – how much would you pay to own the technology behind those devices? That might help to explain why Softbank’s eccentric chief executive Masayoshi Son is paying close to a 50% premium for the UK’s ARM Holdings.
Britain’s best unknown tech business ARM Holdings is being bought by Japan’s SoftBank on the back of the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT).
But what is IoT, and what has a chip designer like ARM got to do with it?