Maker of Terminator-like humanoid robots sold to Softbank

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SAN FRANCISCO — Boston Dynamics, known for its creepy, long-legged walking robots that can strike feelings of both awe and terror in humanoids, has been sold by Google parent Alphabet to SoftBank.

KubernetesThe engineering and robotics company has been on the block for more than a year. Boston Dynamics is focused on making robots for the military and businesses.

As part of the transaction, SoftBank says it’s also buying the Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities. Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the information revolution,” Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. said in a statement. “I am thrilled to welcome (Boston Dynamics) 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.”

At the TED conference in April, Boston Dynamics founder and CEO Marc Raibert showed off the company’s four-legged dog-like robot delivering a package and its bipedal access robot moving boxes to a conveyor belt on a factory floor.

“I think it won’t be too long before we’re using robots to take care of our parents, or help our children take care of us,” Raibert said during his TED talk.

In a statement, Raibert said: “We at Boston Dynamics are excited to be part of SoftBank’s bold vision and its position creating the next technology revolution. … 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.”

Source: usatoday

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