SoftBank Buys Robotics Firms Boston Dynamics, Schaft From Alphabet

Google parent Alphabet Inc. will sell robotics companies Boston Dynamics and Schaft to SoftBank Group Corp. , the Japanese tech giant announced late Thursday. Alphabet had reportedly been shopping Boston Dynamics, which it bought in 2013, for about a year. A price was not announced. Boston Dynamics is known for its humanoid and animal-like robots, which often became the subject of viral videos. "We at Boston Dynamics are excited to be part of SoftBank's bold vision and its position creating the next technology revolution, and we share SoftBank's belief that advances in technology should be for the benefit of humanity," Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert said in a statement. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son welcomed the company into his fold with a statement of his own: "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, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots." Japan-based Schaft specializes in bipedal robots, and was also bought by Google in 2013. SoftBank has long been a leader in robotics, and created the helper robot Pepper.

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