Hyundai launches $400-million Boston Dynamics AI institute

ai institute
ai institute

The Hyundai Motor Group bought a controlling share in Boston Dynamics for US$800 million back in 2020, impressed by the potential of its array of world-leading humanoid, quadrupedal and other robots. Now it’s investing half that again to develop AI.

Hyundai is founding a new Boston Dynamics AI Institute, headquartered in the Kendall Square research precinct in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The new facility will be a research-first organization dedicated to “solving the most important and difficult challenges facing the creation of advanced robots,” taking an academia-meets-the-commercial-lab approach.

The Institute’s core research areas will be athletic AI, organic hardware design … and yes, cognitive AI. There will also be research into the less-technical – but very important – areas of ethics and policy, as they intersect with this highly-charged space.

“Our mission is to create future generations of advanced robots and intelligent machines that are smarter, more agile, perceptive and safer than anything that exists today,” said Marc Raibert, who founded Boston Dynamics back in 1992 as an MIT spinoff, and who will serve as executive director of the new Institute. “The unique structure of the Institute – top talent focused on fundamental solutions with sustained funding and excellent technical support – will help us create robots that are easier to use, more productive, able to perform a wider variety of tasks, and that are safer working with people.”