UPDATE 3-25-2012: Translated from an Aldebaran post on their user forum: “Hello everyone. Information originally issued by the Financial Times is false. The reporter called us several times. We have denied, said that its source is not reliable. But the article came out anyway. We are surprised that the FT can leave this type of erroneous article to be published.”
… According to the Financial Times, Softbank paid about $100m for an 80%+ stake in Aldebaran.
… Softbank will also invest an additional $40m to $50m to accelerate development.
… Softbank, a conglomerate engaged in telecommunications and Internet businesses, bought out existing shareholders Intel Capital, CDC Innovation, iSource and Crédit Agricole Private Equity.
… Aldebaran, famous for its Nao line of robots, is also developing Romeo, a bigger robot which will be able to perform more socially assistive tasks such as helping people open doors, fetch items and twist open jars. Romeo is partially funded by the French government to enable eldercare and also therapeutic assistance for autistism and other disabilities.