Talk about a curveball. Korean automaker Hyundai is reportedly in talks with Boston Dynamics to buy the robotics company from Japan's SoftBank, Bloomberg reported Monday. Boston Dynamics is best known for building the world's most famous , a machine named .
SoftBank and Hyundai reportedly remains in discussions to sell the company, spun out of MIT in 1992, according to the publication's sources. The deal is far from final but could be worth up to $1 billion, if things progress in a positive fashion. A Hyundai spokesperson told Roadshow, "As a global business entity, Hyundai Motor is continuously exploring various investment and partnership opportunities," but declined to comment further. Boston Dynamics did not return a request for comment.
What in the world may Hyundai want Boston Dynamics for? Well, the automaker does build robots now vehicle assembly lines. That's the most practical answer. But, Hyundai also signaled it's interested in bringing CES 2019 where . The whole idea is the car includes the ability to sprout legs when needed to reach hard-to-maneuver areas. Hyundai specifically thinks these "ultimate mobility vehicles" could be a boon for rescue teams. They're also sort of freaky looking in conceptual drawings.. These mobility robots first came to life back at
If there's a company that could provide valuable research into this sort of concept, Boston Dynamics seems like the one. Hyundai set up a dedicated design studio for these walking cars back in September, but perhaps the robotic company will help shape future mobility solutions, if a deal closes.