back to article Megabucks in funding, 28 years of research, and Boston Dynamics is to be 'sold to Hyundai' for 1/40th of an Arm

Boston Dynamics, the Softbank-owned robotics biz, is reportedly being sold to South Korean automotive giant Hyundai for $921m in a deal expected to be announced shortly. Softbank and Hyundai have been in talks discussing the takeover for months, and will finalize details of the acquisition on December 10, according to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ideal for pulling milk floats , I would suggest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The ideal use (as always) is in warfare, not so much as an aggressor but in supplying the warfighters in theatre. Soldiers have to carry ridiculous amounts (in terms of personal weight) of spares (food, water, batteries and ammunition).

      But better infantry mobility, increased use of UAVs for surveillance and recon and optimised tech. have lessened the need for an asthmatic sounding robot support dog to carry stuff about.

      Plus they're noisy, need a stack-load of energy and always look like they'd easily kill someone if anything went vaguely wrong control-wise - any use outside of military ops would have the Safety Engineers will be licking the nib of their red-pens with glee.

      So great fun and the control algorithms are very clever but hard to see where the market is for it...

      1. Gordon861

        If/when they solve the power requirements and noise they could be used as a pack animal, but I always thought the idea of fitting one with a mortar for support fire would work well. Operator indicates position of the target from themselves and the unit calculates the trajectory and drops a shell on the target.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Rather than concentrating on pack carrying for military applications, I would look at developing some of the technology for prosthesis and passive or powered exoskeletons.

          More useful for a wider range of users with the bonus of spin offs with military application.

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Ah, but they will have to think in Korean.

          2. HereIAmJH

            As I get older, a Ripley (Aliens) style exoskeleton is looking pretty attractive. Even if it only had a lift capacity of a couple hundred pounds.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Plus they're noisy, need a stack-load of energy and always look like they'd easily kill someone if anything went vaguely wrong control-wise...

        Well, Spot does remind me of AMEE

      3. Jim84

        Fuel cell quiet UAV

        You'd be better off having a quieter (fuel cell) UAV carrying a couple of precision missiles that soliders can laser designate onto a target (an annoying infantryman in a "defilade" position behind a wall or rock). This would give the infantry their own precision squad level airforce. The US military tired to get a counter defilade smart gun into the hands of its infantry with the XM-25 smart grenade launcher, but this turned out to be to much extra weight to carry. Really this drone would be a "flying backpack" for mini missiles that the soliders would never have to carry, you'd just have several or dozens or hundreds of such drones flying over an operations area.

        There are drones that do this currently, but both the drones and missles cost far to much. Hellfire missiles cost 100k each, and even the man carried Javelin anti tank missles (now used to hit dug in Taliban in Afghanistan) cost 50k each. Maybe with new manufacturing and off the shelf parts missle costs could get down to $150 each (or whatever price level would make their use sustainable).

        To get around the problem of the UAV noise alerting the enemy to the presence of the soliders, maybe fly a lot more (cheap) UAVs over a large area of countryside.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge

    Just wait....

    Until these robots can manufacture themselves en mass.

    “Your papers meatbag, now!”

  3. Tom Servo

    Robohunting

    No need to break out the Sam Slade outfit just yet then.

  4. Cynical Observer
    Coat

    1/40th of an Arm....

    So...

    Quite a bit less than an Arm and an Leg...

    </Heads for the door>

  5. Symon
    Coat

    GGR!

    Blake: Fuck you-- that's my name! You know why, mister? Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an $80,000 BMW. That's my name.

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Our Friends From Frolix 8

      “The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.”

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    And here are some of BD's finest creations once they acquire true AI

    here and here

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Happy

    Hyundia Robotics

    May be SPOT has found a forever home

    https://www.hyundai-robotics.com/english/

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