Boston Dynamics robotics
Bipedal humanoid robot "Atlas", primarily developed by the American robotics company Boston Dynamics, is presented to the media during a news conference at the University of Hong Kong. Reuters/ Tyrone Siu

Robotics is slowly making it into the scene. It is becoming a niche that could soon give human capabilities a hand. Softbank seems to be headed in that direction, its recent acquisition of Boston Dynamics and Schaft a plan towards modern solutions in the future.

Details on the surprise acquisition of Softbank have not been disclosed as of writing. The only thing certain now is that the company has put one over Toyota, which was earlier rumored to acquire the two firms under Alphabet, a Google subsidiary.

A potential deal for Toyota made a lot of sense, considering the Japanese automaker could easily put to good use extra robotic hands. Such was explained no less by Masayoshi Son, the Chairman and CEO of Softbank Group Corp, through an official statement reported by Tech Crunch. "Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots. I am thrilled to welcome them to the SoftBank family and look forward to supporting them as they continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier, safer and more fulfilling."

Boston Dynamics and Schaft were previously acquired by Alphabet in 2013. The former has been aggressively showing off its breakthroughs to date, while the latter has been conspicuously quiet on its end. All that could change with the new deal, something that could result in new ways to push the efficient use of robotics in the modern world.

Among the prototypes Boston Dynamics has shown off so far include animal-like robots that can trek though terrains. Schaft, on the other hand, last revealed its breakthrough in 2012 – a walking robot with a compact two-leg design and a central body that could move up and/or down to perform several tasks, The Guardian reports.

Looking ahead, it remains to be seen if Softbank can push both Boston Dynamics and Schaft to shift their robotic prototype development in high gear. The deal between Softbank and Alphabet does give both companies a new lease in life, something that will hopefully align with the outlook of Masayoshi Son.

Softbank’s outlook may look bold, and there could be something it sees that most have not. Acquiring two companies in the robotics block offers plenty of possibilities, most of which may just need nudge and sense of direction to spark a new technological revolution.