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Alphabet sells its robotics company — along with "Big Dog" and "Atlas" — to SoftBank
Alphabet is selling its Boston Dynamics robotics division to Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank. The news arrived via a press release yesterday, confirming that the Google parent company had agreed terms for the Boston Dynamics sale, which it had been trying to offload since March 2016.
Boston Dynamics is responsible for the creating a slew of spirited robots such as Big Dog, Atlas and Handle, which have been the subject of many headlines (and GIFs) in the past few years. SoftBank, a multi-national internet and telecommunications company, would be no doubt seeking to utilize the company to bolster its current robot projects.
In a statement, Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank, said: “Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities. Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution.”
SofBank would also acquire Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft as part if the deal, though the terms of the purchase have not been disclosed (and are subject to regulatory approval).
This news may indicate that Alphabet is starting to place greater focus on its core projects, or those that have a more immediate impact on operations. Google’s Android platform will already be one of the biggest focuses in the company’s roster, but maybe some extra funds might help it solve that fragmentation problem, eh?