Google made headlines when it acquired Boston Dynamics in 2013 as part of a robotics acquisition spree. Now parent company Alphabet is selling the robotics company to SoftBank Group for an undisclosed sum.
“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities," said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank, in a statement, calling smart robotics technology the key driver for the next stage of information.
SoftBank has already made investments in robotics, but efforts have yet to pay off. The company launched "humanoid robot, Pepper, in 2016, which is compatible with Google's Android operating system. Pre-sales of the Pepper model supported by Android for developers went on sale in July 2016.
As part of the transaction with Alphabet, SoftBank has also agreed to acquire Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. The company was founded in 2012 in the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, and the company has continued its pioneering work under the leadership of co-founders Yuto Nakanishi, Junichi Urata, Narito Suzuki and Koichi Nishiwaki.