November 28, 2020
Hyundai reportedly wants Boston Dynamics, maker of everyone's favorite robot dog

Hyundai reportedly wants Boston Dynamics, maker of everyone’s favorite robot dog


Boston Dynamics Spot

Robot dogs and automakers… 2020 is weird.


Boston Dynamics

Talk about a curveball. Korean automaker Hyundai is reportedly in talks with Boston Dynamics to buy the robotics company from Japan’s SoftBank, Bloomberg reported Monday. Boston Dynamics is best known for building the world’s most famous robot dog, a machine named Spot.

SoftBank and Hyundai reportedly remains in discussions to sell the company, spun out of MIT in 1992, according to the publication’s sources. The deal is far from final but could be worth up to $1 billion, if things progress in a positive fashion. Neither Hyundai nor Boston Dynamics immediately returned a request for comment on the report.

What in the world may Hyundai want Boston Dynamics for? Well, the automaker does build robots now vehicle assembly lines. That’s the most practical answer. But, Hyundai also signaled it’s interested in bringing “walking cars” to life. These mobility robots first came to life back at CES 2019 where Hyundai showed the Elevate concept. The whole idea is the car includes the ability to sprout legs when needed to reach hard-to-maneuver areas. Hyundai specifically thinks these “ultimate mobility vehicles” could be a boon for rescue teams. They’re also sort of freaky looking in conceptual drawings.

These are the machines Hyundai imagines.


Hyundai

If there’s a company that could provide valuable research into this sort of concept, Boston Dynamics seems like the one. Hyundai set up a dedicated design studio for these walking cars back in September, but perhaps the robotic company will help shape future mobility solutions, if a deal closes.


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