Japan’s SoftBank is acquiring humanoid (and animal-like) robotics innovator Boston Dynamics) from Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Google had purchased the Boston-based company in 2013, but persistent rumours last year indicated the Californians were seeking to off-load their East Coast investment to another investor.
SoftBank is a Japanese tech conglomerate well known for its own humanoid robot, Pepper, which is frequently described as cute and friendly; a distinct contrast to BD’s DARPA-inspired robots that have remarkable biped walking stability, but somewhat of a more sinister look, as seen in the company’s viral internet videos.
Will Handler devour Pepper? You decide.
Image: Boston Dynamics LS3 robot with handler. By USMC / public domain
This story is taken from the 16 June 2017 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.