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Friday, June 09, 2017
SoftBank to Buy Alphabet's Robot Maker Boston Dynamicsaft


SoftBank Group is taking over Google parent Alphabet's robot dreams, buying Boston Dynamics to pursue a future when more machines intermingle with humans.

As part of the transaction with Alphabet, SoftBank also agreed to buy Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Boston Dynamics made its name with a series of two- and four-legged machines that are able to stay upright even when pushed or traversing rocky terrain. While SoftBank has already made investments in robotics, those efforts have yet to deliver hit products or pay off. That may change with this new deal.

It wasn't clear whether Boston Dynamics would remain within SoftBank, or become part of the Vision Fund, the $93 billion technology investment fund started by SoftBank founder, Masayoshi Son. The Vision Fund already has the right to acquire 25 percent of SoftBank's holdings in ARM Holdings Plc, OneWeb, online lender Social Finance Inc. and Nvidia.

Alphabet decided to put the company up for sale earlier this year because it didn't anticipate a marketable product in the next few years.



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