Softbank stock surged 7.43% in Tokyo Friday to close at ¥9,476, after it announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics.
The deal aligns with SoftBank's push into "paradigm-shifting technologies and its vision of catalyzing the next wave of smart robotics," the Tokyo-based company said Friday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Boston Dynamics' robots can run, jump and climb stairs, with the company's CEO Marc Raibert describing them as "nightmare inducting."
SoftBank is one of the companies behind a robot called Pepper, which is said to be the world's first robot to read human emotions.
"Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities. Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots," SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said in a statement.
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As part of the transaction with Alphabet, SoftBank has also agreed to acquire Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. Founded in 2012 in the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, the company has continued its pioneering work under the leadership of co-founders Yuto Nakanishi, Junichi Urata, Narito Suzuki and Koichi Nishiwaki.
Alphabet picked up Boston Dynamics less than four years ago during a push into robotics. Alphabet decided to sell the company after concluded that it wasn't likely to produce a marketable product in the next few years, Bloomberg reported.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Softbank Acquires Robot Maker Boston Dynamics from Google Japan's Softbank Group has announced that it is going to buy the robot maker Boston Dynamics from Google parent Alphabet, which Google had acquired Boston Dynamics in the late 2013. #artificialintelligenc #bostondynamics #humanmachineinterfa email #robotics #softbankhawks #softbank #google https://goo.gl/ph6lDq
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The move comes as SoftBank is set to close its $100 billion tech investment vehicle known as the Vision Fund, which will also invest in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence.
Alphabet shares were unchanged at Friday's opening at $1,004.31.
After a monster run in its stock on the heels of a bullish investor day, Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma saw his net wealth rise $8.5 billion to $41.8 billion. He is Asia's richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook will deliver the commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday. He has big shoes to fill after a well-received speech by Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg at his alma mater Haravrd.
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