The big picture: Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group is reportedly discussing the idea of offloading robot maker Boston Dynamics to South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company. While incredibly advanced and capable, the fact that Boston Dynamics has been shuffled around so much in recent memory suggests its owners are struggling to turn a profit with it.

Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the deal is valued at as much as $1 billion and would give the automaker control of the robotics firm. Nothing has been finalized or publicly announced as of this writing, and the talks could still fall through, the sources added.

Should a deal come to fruition, Boston Dynamics would again find itself with a new owner. The company was acquired by Google in late 2013 for an undisclosed sum. A few years later in 2017, the tech titan decided to sell the division to SoftBank for an unknown amount.

Boston Dynamics has fascinated – and at times, frightened – the Internet with its various creations. Under SoftBank, Boston Dynamics made its Spot robot available to lease through an early adopter program in 2019. This year, the robotic dog was finally offered for outright purchase for around $75,000.

Hyundai would presumably adapt the technology for use in its auto manufacturing plants.

Masthead credit: Roman Korotkov