Boston Dynamics' robot dogs might soon have a new owner, as SoftBank reportedly considers a sale
SoftBankis reportedly in talks to sell Boston Dynamicsto Hyundai.
- Boston Dynamics is best known for its robot dog,
- Spot first became available to purchase for $75,000 this year.
SoftBank is considering selling
Boston Dynamics, the makers of the internet-famous four-legged robot, Spot, say that the company is not current profitable, though the deal could be valued at $1 billion, according to the report. The outlet also reported that the deal is not finalized and may not come through.Boston Dynamics started as a project at MIT, and was then bought by Google in 2013. Videos of Spot mirroring life-like movements that resemble animals leading to an uncanny valley effect that may make viewers uncomfortable, and videos went viral. In 2017,
Previously, companies used Spot as part of the "Early Adopter Program," which meant they could lease the robot under certain conditions. If customers violated the agreement, Boston Dynamics could reclaim the robot and end the relationship. Under that program, architecture firm Foster and Partners — which designed Apple Park, the Steve Jobs Theater, and some of the tech giant's most recognizable stores — used Spot on a construction project in London. Ford brought in two of the robots to a plant in August.Spot somewhat resembles an existing project from would-be buyer Hyundai: the Elevate concept vehicle that walks on four robotic legs. Hyundai even compared the vehicle's movement as being similar to "both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction," much like Spot is often compared to a dog.
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