As a company, Boston Dynamics have changed owners a couple of times. It was acquired in 2013 by Google, before getting passed to SoftBank in 2017. And now, the Japanese conglomerate has the bulk of the company to Korean car maker Hyundai.
In its press statement, Hyundai announced that it is acquiring 80% of the robotics company for US$1.1 billion (~RM4.456 billion). The company says this will help its development of service and logistics robots. From there, the company will extend this to humanoid robots for more caregiving roles.
Of course, with the announcement being so recent, it will be awhile before we see anything new from Hyundai resulting from this deal. Right now, the most famous robot that is being made by Boston Dynamics is probably Spot. It’s had its own time in the YouTube spotlight over the past few years, and the robot itself costs US$74500 at base.
With SoftBank still having 20% ownership of the company, Hyundai probably won’t be changing Boston Dynamics too much. Which means that its robots will probably remain prohibitively expensive unless you are running a robotics company yourself. Though maybe the ability to buy one will not be limited to just the US.