Google is ditching one of its highest-profile robotics businesses, selling it off to a Japanese tech giant. Japan’s softbank announced Friday that it’s buying robot maker Boston Dynamics from Google’s parent Alphabet, saying the deal will help it in its aim to be at the forefront of the next wave of smart robotics.
Boston Dynamics has repeatedly made headlines with its eye-catching robots, which can run, jump and climb stairs. It’s CEO has described one of them as nightmare inducing. SoftBank’s billionaire Ceo Masayoshi Son has made no secret of his enthusiasm for robots. He is widely quoted as saying they will outnumber humans in 30 years.
SoftBank is one of the companies behind Pepper, which has been billed as the world’s first robot capable of reading human emotions. The sale of Boston Dynamics marks a swift exit by Alphabet, which snapped up the company less than four years ago as part of a broader push into the field of robotics.
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