Jun 8, 2017

SoftBank buying robotics company Boston Dynamics

SoftBank has agreed to acquire the Boston Dynamics robotics unit of Google parent company Alphabet, around one year after a possible sale was first reported. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is being done via a SoftBank subsidiary rather than through its new $93 billion private equity fund.

Why it matters: Depending on your point of view, Boston Dynamics robots are either the coolest thing in the world ― or the most terrifying, due to their Terminator-like ability to both run and get back up after falling down. Possible applications range from military to industrial to consumer, with Amazon originally having been said to have interest as a warehouse tool.

What happened: From a business perspective, there was intractable tension between Boston Dynamics engineers who wanted to do super-creative stuff for street cred and Alphabet executives who wanted commercial product on the market.

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