Hyundai buys Boston Dynamics for nearly $ 1 billion, will build a car that can walk?

Tram Ho

In early November, reports emerged that the Korean car manufacturer – Hyundai – was in talks to buy Boston Dynamics, a company that makes robot dogs that some people joked to be. lead the army of robots as they rise to overthrow the human race.

Yesterday, a number of unexpected reports confirmed the two sides had reached an agreement in which Hyundai will officially take over Boston Dynamics from its current owner, SoftBank Group of Japan for $ 921 million.

This is the third time within 7 years that Boston Dynamics has been “changed owner”. This company has historically been considered unprofitable.

Boston Dynamics is a company spun off from a research unit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1990s and run itself until Google acquired it in 2013. In 2017, SoftBank stacks money and takes control of the public. ty from the hand of the looking giant.

Under the SoftBank era, Boston Dynamics began selling its four-legged robot models to certain organizations and individuals to collect even more data and enable it to test robots in a variety of contexts.

Hyundai mua Boston Dynamics với giá gần 1 tỷ USD, sẽ chế tạo xe hơi biết bước đi? - Ảnh 1.

The robot dog of Boston Dynamics

At this point, it is not clear what Hyundai wants to do with Boston Dynamics. The two companies currently have some overlapping products, so in the near future, both sides may have to conduct a round of purification and restructuring.

Boston Dynamics not only makes four-legged robots, it also makes a variety of industrial robots designed for use in warehouses.

Have you ever heard of Handle, the two-wheeled robot that transports boxes that reminds people of sleeveless velociraptor? Maybe Hyundai wants to put them on the car production lines?

Hyundai mua Boston Dynamics với giá gần 1 tỷ USD, sẽ chế tạo xe hơi biết bước đi? - Ảnh 2.

The Robot Handle of Boston Dynamics

And while Hyundai is best known for car manufacturing, it’s obviously not its only business.

The company has also created a robot that can be carried on the body, like a mobile mechanical skeleton, to help people with the lower half of the body walk. Perhaps Hyundai could take advantage of Boston Dynamics’ technology to further develop these tools.

Or perhaps Hyundai wants to dissect Boston Dynamics’ sensor technology for use in self-driving or self-driving cars?

But if Hyundai does not intend to enter the world of robotic dogs, what we want to see most must be a car that can walk.

At CES 2019, Hyundai announced photos of a concept car called Elevate – the car that can both run on 4 wheels and can walk on 4 feet that we are talking about here.

Theoretically, the Elevate can function like a regular car. The difference is that a driver can activate the car’s four “legs”, lock the wheels, and steer it through rough terrain, just like the robot dog of Boston Dynamics.

Think it’s just a coincidence? Probably not.

Hyundai mua Boston Dynamics với giá gần 1 tỷ USD, sẽ chế tạo xe hơi biết bước đi? - Ảnh 3.

Hyundai Elevate walkable concept car

Last September, the Top Gear page reported that Hyundai is indeed developing a walkable car, which means it is not just a dream concept.

This vehicle would be extremely useful for emergency services that have to regularly assist people in disaster situations where conventional wheeled vehicles cannot reach.

Hyundai’s “Studio New Horizon” is the part assigned to bring this technological masterpiece to life. ” We wanted to create the first transfigured vehicle in the world, ” said a Hyundai spokesman at the time.

But considering the information mentioned above, it can be predicted that Hyundai is putting everything they can into this project – they not only “want”, but aim to “must” do it. It’s just that Hyundai hasn’t revealed its plans for Boston Dynamics, so we can’t be sure whether Elevate will come true someday.

Hyundai Motor’s global PR team leader, Jin Cha, made the following comment to several news sites: ” As a global business entity, Hyundai Motor is constantly exploring diverse investment opportunities and partnerships. Company policy, we do not comment on market predictions “.

Maybe Hyundai should immediately build walking cars, giving humanity a chance in the war with the robot dogs of the future!

Reference: TheNextWeb

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Source : Genk