August 15, 2022
The Boston Dynamics AI Institute will focus on AI and robotics research.
Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group is investing $424 million to establish an artificial intelligence research center in the U.S. in collaboration with its recently acquired subsidiary, robotics firm Boston Dynamics.
The Boston Dynamics AI Institute will be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and focus on delivering advances in AI and robotics technology – areas the company believes are ripe for growth. The center will focus on four core areas: cognitive AI, organic hardware design, ethics and policy.
Marc Raibert, Boston Dynamics’ founder and former MIT professor, will lead the center as it works on solving “the most important and difficult challenges facing the creation of advanced robots," according to Hyundai's announcement.
“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,” Raibert said in a statement.
The group hinted at the project earlier this year when it announced it was about to embark on a period of heavy investment in the U.S. Hyundai developed a $5.54 billion electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility near Savannah, Georgia, and also committed $5 billion for development work in robotics, AI, advanced air mobility and autonomous driving.
Outside the U.S., it plans to establish a Global Software Center in South Korea as part of its effort to accelerate development into self-driving tech and what it terms 'Software Defined Vehicles.' The center will be established on the basis of 42dot, an autonomous driving software and mobility platform startup recently acquired by Hyundai for $211.1 million.
All this activity is part of the group’s wider plan to “rapidly advance capabilities in future mobility solutions," according to Hyundai President and Chief Innovation Officer Youngcho Chi at the unveiling of Hyundai’s vision of a smart city in early August.
This article first appeared in sister publication IoT World Today.