- YouTube/Boston Dynamics
Google has sold two of its robotics subsidiaries to SoftBank.
The Japanese conglomerate will buy Boston Dynamics, a company specializing in legged robots. Boston Dynamics’ bots became famous through widely watched videos that showed them walking over uneven terrain and getting back up after being knocked down.
SoftBank is also buying Schaft, a Japan-based company that focuses on robots that walk on two legs.
A Google representative confirmed the sale of the two units to Business Insider. Google did not disclose how much SoftBank paid for the two companies or other terms of the deal. The Japanese giant did not make the acquisitions through its $93 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, which its using to invest in technology companies, but through a different subsidiary.
Google bought Boston Dynamics and Schaft during a period in 2013 and 2014 when it planned to form a new robotics division under Andy Rubin, who was previously headed up its Android efforts. But Rubin left the company in 2014.
After he departed, Googlers were anxious about the somewhat intimidating nature of robots. Alphabet has been looking to sell Boston Dynamics since last year.
Even as Google has been trying to exit the robotics business, SoftBank has been investing it. Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s CEO, has predicted that artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence within the next 30 years.
Check out what a Boston Dynamics robot can do below: