Softbank Acquires Both Boston Dynamics and Schaft
SoftBank, a 9 Trillion Yen telecommunications and Internet company, may now be very well called Softbank Robotics due to its purchase of both Boston Dynamics and Schaft. Between the two acquired big players in the Robotics scene are the iconic creations BigDog, Handle, and S-One. Softbank already has Aldeberan Robotics the proclaimed leader in humanoid robotics (humanoid subtopics).
CEO Masayoshi Son further pushes the envelope of not only leading the scene business-wise but also the worldwide development of Robots. Passion, not profit, seems to be the primary motive here as the stagnant “growth” of Boston Dynamics and Schaft are highly noted under Alphabet (Google). Son has already thrown more resources (an addition $20 million to be exact) on Fetch Robotics.
2013 (when Google acquired both Boston Dynamics and Schaft) started with a promise that merely generated impatience from worldwide Robotics enthusiasts. As of this writing, even under being the umbrella of Android creator Andy Rubin did nothing of note with all the talents on their disposal.
Still, the highly touted Quadrupeds, Bipedals, and Humanoids made waves. It was what the two (2) companies were doing all along even without the help of Larry Page’s Google.
SoftBank’s official press release was filled with the shared vision of “solving many issues that cannot be done by human capabilities.” Without giving away the terms of the acquisition, further praise was dished to Marc Raibert and his Boston Dynamics. Lauded as the “technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots”, the goal was to still continue to revolutionize the field for the greater good as per SoftBank.
Boston Dynamics on the other hand made it sound like the deal is a blessing not only for them but also towards the development of “humanity as a whole”.
Questions about monopolizing the Robotics industry will always pop up (topic robotics). The mixed reactions rightfully stem from the seemingly hiatus of any breakthrough projects by Google. Still, hopefuls are betting on something big that could bypass the current novelties of all 3 companies included in this merger. Even if the current location among them spans 3 distant countries.
Nao, Romeo, and Pepper may finally have new functional companions that are much aligned with the mission of SoftBank and its growing subsidiaries of Robotics pioneers. Something that should get everyone excited about and further connect the expectations set by fictional works regarding Human-Robot harmony.