Hyundai Just Bought Boston Dynamics. Now What?

On June 21, Hyundai Motor Group, Boston Dynamics, Inc., and SoftBank Group Corp. announced the acquisition of Boston Dynamics by Hyundai for over $1.1 billion. What does this merger mean for the future of robotics and mobility?

Boston Dynamics is a robotics firm that aims to create mobile robots to enrich people’s lives and streamline everyday interactions. Founded in 1992 by former Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University professor Mark Raibert, the company emphasizes nature– and legs– in its designs. One of their most well-known creations, Spot, mimics the design of a dog. While at CMU, Raibert founded the Leg Lab, which later moved with Raibert to MIT, and aimed to create more dynamic and mobile robots through the use of mechanical legs.

Hyundai is a multi-billion dollar motor company based in South Korea. In late 2019, they announced Strategy 2025, which aims to “foster Smart Mobility Device and Smart Mobility Service as two core business pillars.”