news    views    talk    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     crowdfunding     archives     events

SoftBank

It is unclear if Masayoshi Son, Chairman of Softbank, was one of the 17 million YouTube viewers of Boston Dynamic’s Big Dog before acquiring the company for an undisclosed amount this past Thursday. What is clear is the acquisition of Boston Dynamics by Softbank is a big deal. Softbank’s humanoid robot Pepper is trading up her dainty wheels for a pair of sturdy legs.

Spotmini by Boston Dynamics. Source: Boston Dynamics/YouTube

In a long-awaited transaction, The New York Times Dealbook announced that SoftBank was buying Boston Dynamics from Alphabet (Google). Also included in the deal is the Japanese startup Schaft. Acquisition details were not disclosed.

by   -   May 24, 2017

SoftBank, the giant telecom company, is venturing out into the world of robotics and transportation services. DealStreet Asia said that SoftBank is trying to transform itself into the ‘Berkshire Hathaway of the tech industry’ with the recent launch of a $100 billion technology fund.

UPDATED 5/24/17: SoftBank’s acquisition of 4.9% of the outstanding shares of Nvidia Corp.

Thosha Moodley visits Decos’ futuristic development lab and is greeted by a familiar face: Softbank’s Pepper robot, newly employed as a receptionist.

by   -   October 12, 2016

Pepper_Softbank

SoftBank, the Japanese telecom conglomerate, led a group that included Iconiq Capital, Prelude Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, and seven others in a $130 million funding round for Zymergen to help the company grow its workforce and scale its operations in Silicon Valley.

by   -   July 19, 2016
Pepper-and-Softbank-CEO_800_613_80
Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son proudly showcases Pepper, a human-like robot.

The announcement that SoftBank will spend $32 billion to acquire ARM Holdings means the Japanese firm is buying the most important company in the world of mobile processors for smartphone and Internet of Things devices.

by   -   May 30, 2016

There are likely close to 10,000 Peppers out in the world. Online sales have been 1,000 units each month for the last seven months with additional sales to businesses, such as Nestle’s coffee shops and SoftBank’s telecom stores. However, do Peppers offer value for money spent?

by   -   January 5, 2016

pepper

In an article about the pace of sales for the SoftBank Pepper robot, the China Post reported that Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision (AKA Foxconn) has sent a team of 30 to survey the US market for future acquisitions of robot production firms.

by   -   November 12, 2015

Pepper_3

The latest batch of 1,000 Japanese-speaking Pepper robots sold out in one minute after they were made available online by Japanese telecom company SoftBank. This brings the total Pepper robots sold thus far to at least 7,000. A new batch of 1,000 will go on sale 28 November.

robot_tablet_big_Data_telecommunciations

NTT’s recent entry into consumer robotics suggests that it’s not just about Google vs Amazon, or Softbank vs NTT anymore, but about telcos vs big data companies. With two major and distinct sectors now competing for market share in consumer robotics, will this impact the way the whole robotics industry evolves?

by   -   July 30, 2015

Alibaba_Softbank_Pepper_FoxConnDeveloping Story: Softbank today announced that it will be taking preorders for the enterprise version of their Pepper robot, called “Pepper for Biz” starting October 1 this year. This comes one day after Japanese telco rival NTT launched a competing consumer robot called Sota. The enterprise model will be available on a three year rental contract, after which Softbank will reclaim the robot. During the rental period Softbank will provide phone and technical support. The monthly cost will be 55,000 JPY (~$440USD), for a total of 1,980,000 JPY (~$16,000USD) over the three years.

Yesterday a second Japanese telecommunication firm entered the consumer robot-as-a-service market when the state-owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) announced it would partner with its subsidiary NTT Data and robot maker Vstone to develop a tabletop companion robot that can talk and communicate with smart devices. NTT joins Softbank in the move to market networking and cloud computing services to a massive existing consumer base using consumer robotics. NTT says its Sota companion robot will cost about 100,000 JPY (~$800USD), with a monthly service fee of a few thousand JPY (~$30). UPDATE:  Softbank will take pre-orders for enterprise version of Pepper starting Oct 1 

by   -   July 10, 2015

SoftBank announced that their little Pepper robot will be available for sale beginning August 1st at the rate of 1,000 per month after selling out their first 1,000 Peppers in one online minute in June. They also released a new promo video that evokes Pepper’s emotional connection with people.

by   -   June 19, 2015

Alibaba_Softbank_Pepper_FoxConn

In a strategic move sure to have long-term ramifications, Foxconn and Alibaba each invested $118 million for a combined 40% share of the new SoftBank Robotic Holdings Group, an entity which holds Aldebaran, Pepper and the Pepper SDK software group. Starting June 20, Pepper robots will go on sale to businesses and consumers in Japan. 

by   -   June 19, 2015

pepper

Yesterday SoftBank, FoxConn and Alibaba cemented a strong robotics initiative. Having acquired a majority stake in Aldebaran in 2012 (just after the Amazon acquisition of Kiva), SoftBank’s interest in robots has been cause for confusion. Do they want an ‘emotional’ humanoid robot or is their interest in Aldebaran a pathway towards a more practical robot?



Tensegrity Control
August 18, 2017


Are you planning to crowdfund your robot startup?

Need help spreading the word?

Join the Robohub crowdfunding page and increase the visibility of your campaign