Hyundai Motor Group has acquired a majority stake in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank following regulatory approvals.
After the closing, the group will hold 80 percent of the shares in Boston Dynamics and SoftBank will retain the remaining 20 percent of the shares through one of its subsidiaries. The deal valued the mobile robotics company at $ 1.1 billion. Further financial details were not disclosed.
Boston Dynamics is a leader in developing agile, mobile robots that have been successfully integrated into the operations of many of the world’s leading industrial companies. Together, both companies want to create a robotics value chain, from robot component production to intelligent logistics solutions. In addition, the Boston Dynamics group will support the further expansion of its product line and global sales and service presence.
With the takeover of Boston Dynamics and the securing of a leading presence in the field of robotics, the group is taking another important step towards its strategic transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. To drive this transformation forward, the group has invested heavily in the development of future technologies, including autonomous driving, AI, urban air mobility (UAM), smart factories and robots.
In the area of robotics, the group has set itself the goal of developing advanced technologies that improve people’s lives and promote safety, thereby realizing progress for humanity. The transaction is also intended to enable the group and Boston Dynamics to leverage each other’s strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction and automation.
Boston Dynamics started selling its first commercial robot, Spot, in June 2020 and now has hundreds of robots in use in a variety of industries including utilities, construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining. The company also recently unveiled Stretch, its first commercial robot specifically designed for warehouses and distribution centers.
Last week RobotLAB and SoftBank Robotics America announced that the humanoid robots Pepper and NAO are now available exclusively through RobotLAB in North America. The partnership also extends Pepper’s previous focus areas of industry and STREAM education to a broader range of applications and marks the debut of RobotLAB as one of SBRA’s Whiz partners.
Bridgestone buys stake in Kodiak Robotics
Bridgestone Americas has made a minority stake in Kodiak Robotics, a leading US self-driving truck company. The partnership will enable Bridgestone to integrate its intelligent tire technologies and fleet solutions with Kodiak’s Level 4 autonomous trucks. The companies will also pilot future autonomous and intelligent tire technologies to further improve vehicle intelligence and achieve a safer, more efficient and more sustainable mobility future.
“Automated vehicles provide a number of benefits to commercial fleet customers and society in general, including safer roads with fewer unexpected incidents and more than 20 percent savings in fuel and efficiency,” said Paolo Ferrari, global chief solutions officer, Bridgestone Corporation and president & CEO, Bridgestone Americas.
“Advances in tire-centric technologies are critical to unlocking greater innovations in mobility, while also offering significant sustainability benefits. This investment will enable Bridgestone and Kodiak to work together to jointly develop advanced mobility solutions with speed and precision that will revolutionize commercial trucking. “
McKinsey highlights three main opportunities for automation in construction. The first is the automation of classic physical tasks on site, such as laying bricks using robots and paving roads using machines.
The second concerns the automation of modular construction or production in factories, including the 3D printing of components such as facades, and the third deals with digitization and the subsequent automation of construction, planning and management processes as well as the enormous efficiencies, that can be created on site.
“BIM, for example, which essentially brings together the designs of planners and general contractors to identify problems before moving to the construction site, makes the planning process more efficient to eliminate errors and better coordinate the workforce.”