Hyundai Motor Group acquires Boston Dynamics robotics firm

Published: 11 December 2020

► HMG acquires Boston Dynamics
► The robotics firm is valued at $1.1billion
► Autonomous factories and mass-produced robots

Hyundai Motor Group is set to acquire a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics, a cutting-edge robotics firm based in the US. It’s an impressive move that’ll see HMG take an 80% share of the $1.1 billion dollar tech company – and it’s likely to have long-term benefits for the group’s automotive business.  

What is Boston Dynamics?

Boston Dynamics is one of the most well-known robotics firms in the world, and videos of its anthropomorphic creations continue to go viral. If you’ve seen a quadrupedal machine trotting or demonstrating balance, chances are you’re looking at the work of Boston Dynamics. 

Why robotics?

Boston Dynamics might not seem like an obvious choice for HMG, but robotics and particularly AI is becoming increasingly relevant to the automotive industry – both in production and vehicles on the road.

For the last few years, HMG has invested in connectivity, autonomous tech and AI – and the company also unveiled a new electric platform just days ago. Called E-GMP, the new platform is all about increasing the speed of manufacture and reducing the cost per unit. 

Boston Dynamics’ expertise could certainly help with the latter; its robots can be equipped with perception, navigation and intelligence.

The benefits for Boston Dynamics are less tangible but partnering up with HMG should allow the company to fast track its tech into a much larger environment, and also speed up the path from R&D to commercialization. For example, the manufacturing weight of HMG will be invaluable in accelerating the deployment of humanoid robots in hospitals. 

HMG is also making strides in Human Robot Interaction (HRI) which directly involves BD’s research.

‘We are delighted to have Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots, join the Hyundai team. This transaction will unite capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to spearhead innovation in future mobility,’ said the HMG CEO Euisun Chung. We will also contribute to the society by enhancing its safety, security, public health amid global trends of aging society and digital transformation.’

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast

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