Seoul, Hyundai Motor Group said on Monday its three affiliates and its chief have acquired a controlling stake in US-based robotics firm Boston Dynamics for $880 million.
The investment is part of the South Korean automaking group’s broader plans to strengthen its competitiveness in future mobility solutions.
In December, the board of directors at the three affiliates — Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Glovis — approved the plan to acquire a combined 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics whose value is estimated at $1.1 billion, from Japanese investment firm SoftBank Group Capital Ltd and two individuals.
In the same month, Hyundai announced it will invest 60.1 trillion won by 2025 for future mobility to gain a bigger share in the rapidly evolving global automobile market, reports Yonhap news agency.
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun last week visited Boston Dynamics in the US to discuss the latest robotics technology trends with its executives.
In December last year, the world’s fifth-largest automotive group acquired an 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics, which is famous for its dog-like robot Spot to leverage its robotics technology in other industrial areas.
Hyundai Motor said it plans to create synergy between robotics, autonomous vehicles, urban air mobility and smart factories to provide various mobility services both in private and public sectors.
Boston Dynamics is the established leader in developing agile, mobile robots that have been successfully integrated into various business operations.
The deal is also expected to allow Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to leverage each other’s respective strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction and automation.
Boston Dynamics is also entering the logistics automation market with the industry leading Pick, a computer vision-based depalletizing solution, and was likely to introduce a mobile robot for warehouses this year.