Famous robot-maker Boston Dynamics may be switching owners once again.
Reports that South Korean firm Hyundai may be buying Boston Dynamics from SoftBank are circulating. The information has been disclosed by "people familiar with the matter," per Bloomberg, the first to report on the matter.
If the deal does go ahead, Hyundai could be buying the company for up to $1 billion from SoftBank.
No terms or agreements have been finalized, and the deal may never come to fruition.
Furthermore, no comments have been offered by representatives of Hyundai, SoftBank, or Boston Dynamics, per Bloomberg.
However, Hyundai reportedly answered an email regarding the question by saying, "As a global business entity, Hyundai Motor is continuously exploring various investment and partnership opportunities."
It wouldn't be such a huge surprise for Boston Dynamics to switch hands, as it's done so twice before. Starting its life in the early 1990s as an MIT spinoff, it operated independently before being bought by Google in 2013, then by SoftBank in 2017, per Bloomberg.
Combining Boston Dynamics' expertise with Hyundai's
Known for its incredibly advanced robotics systems, such as Spot the robot dog, Boston Dynamics is great at researching and creating robots, but profits for its sales have yet to be fruitful.
For instance, Spot has been for sale since last year and has been caught wandering on a night stroll in Canada, serving beer in Sevilla, Spain, and even used as a research assistant at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant — but any major profitable sales have yet to come in.
In contrast, Hyundai reportedly does make profits on its robotics section, so combining Boston Dynamics' expertise along with Hyundai's may just be the winning ticket.