SoftBank to Acquire Boston Dynamics and Schaft

Published By : 09 Jun 2017 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

On Friday, June 09, 2017, SoftBank Group Corp. has announced an agreement with Alphabet Inc., according to which a unit of the Japanese company will buy two firms from the U.S. based robot manufacturer, marking its entry into robotics business. The company will develop walking robots with which it expects to add significantly to its artificial intelligence portfolio.

Boston Dynamics and Schaft are the two firms that SoftBank will be acquiring. These firms design and develop robots that simulate human movement. Masayoshi Son, the Chairman of the SoftBank Group said that “Smart robotics is going to be the catalyst of the next-gen information revolution, and Marc, CEO, Boston Dynamics, and his team are the technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots.”

While the terms of the transactions have not been disclosed, the shares of SoftBank rose to 7.9% after the announcement of the deal, hitting a 17-year high.

SoftBank on Aggressive Acquisition Campaign

To improve its R&D capabilities, SoftBank has undertaken an aggressive acquisition campaign, under which, the group is supporting Vision Fund that raised US$93 bn in its first close. It is world's largest private equity fund and is looking to invest in futuristic technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

A spokesperson from Alphabet recently stated that “robotics has a great potential, and they are glad to see Schaft and Boston Dynamics joining hand with SoftBank to continue contributing to the next generation of the robotics.” Hitherto, Boston Dynamics has manufactured a number of robots that can mimic the movements of humans and animals.

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