Boston Dynamics is an American engineering and robotics design company found in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. The Hyundai Motor Group owns Boston Dynamics since 2020. It is best known for the development of a series of dynamic highly mobile robots, including BigDog, Spot, Atlas, and Handle.
Marc Raibert is the founder, former CEO, and now chairperson of Boston Dynamics. Before starting Boston Dynamics, Raibert was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and an associated professor of Computer Science and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. At CMU he found the Leg Laboratory (1980), a lab that helped establish the scientific basis for highly dynamic robots. Raibert’s dream is to advance bipedal and quadrupedal robotics to a supernatural state.
On December 13, 2013, Google parent company Alphabet Inc. acquired the company.
On June 8, 2017, Alphabet Inc. announced to sell the company to Japan’s SoftBank Group for an undisclosed sum. On April 2, 2019, Boston Dynamics gained the Silicon Valley startup Kinema Systems.
By December 2020 Hyundai Motor Group gained an 80% stake in the company from SoftBank for approximately $880 million. SoftBank Group keeps about 20% through an affiliate.
BOSTON DYNAMICS COVID-19 RESPONSE:
Starting in early March 2020, Boston Dynamics starts to receive inquiries from hospitals asking if robots could help minimize the staff exposure to COVID-19. One of the hospitals shared that “Within a week, one-sixth of their staffs had contracted COVID-19 and that they were looking into to use robots to take more of their staff out of range from the novel virus”
Based on these, and the global shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE), Boston has spent several weeks previously trying to understand hospital requirements to develop a mobile robotics solution with the robot, Spot. The result is we can enhance a legged robot application to support frontline staff responding to the pandemic in ad hoc environments such as triage tents and parking lots.