(From left) Hyun Dong-jin, vice president and head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Lab and Marc Raibert, Chairman of Boston Dynamics (Hyundai Motor)
LAS VEGAS - Hyundai Motor’s first collaboration project with Boston Dynamics is expected to come by 2024 under the South Korean auto giant’s ambitious goal of creating a better future for humans, according to its executives.
At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, Hyundai presented its vision for future mobility, with robots, not cars, taking center stage. Now keen attention is being paid to its collaboration work with Boston Dynamics, the robotics startup it acquired in June last year for a whopping $1.1 billion.
“It has only been six months since we have been working with Hyundai. We are internally discussing other projects of which you will be able to hear about next year,” Boston Dynamics Chairman Marc Raibert told reporters.
He pinned high hopes on the new partnership, citing Hyundai’s huge investments in research and development, manufacturing prowess and strong will of the top brass, including Chairman Chung Euisun.
At this year’s CES, Hyundai showcased its own robotics technology based on the Mobility of Things, including the Plug & Drive and MobED module. The carmaker hinted that Boston Dynamics’ robotics technology will be implemented into its mobility platforms for a market debut in the coming years.
Hyun Dong-jin, vice president and head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Lab, added the carmaker’s push for robotics will add value for its customers as well.
“Robotics is not just about creating robots but enhancing technology implemented in robots to provide new services to our customers. We have many robots in our portfolio for customers, and we will continue to show them one by one,” he said.
Hyun stressed the carmaker’s ultimate goal is connecting robots in the physical world with a virtual reality metaverse.
“Robotics is a cyber-physical system that combines hardware and software. The metaverse can be said to be a type of cyber-physical system. Connecting the two worlds is our ambitious goal that is still in the nascent stage,” he said.
“In the future, the metaverse will be about digital twins, data science and their benefits both in the real and virtual worlds. That’s what Hyundai is preparing for.”
Boston Dynamics‘ Spot robot, a quadruped robot equipped with high-tech sensors, has already been deployed at Kia Motors’ car plant for safety control since September last year. The firm said it is supplying Spot robots to dozens of clients that are eager to adopt the robots in their workplaces using their digital twins in the metaverse.
Boston Dynamics currently markets three robots: Spot, Stretch, a warehouse robot, and Atlas, a humanoid.
By Hong Yoo, Korea Herald correspondent