A massive Japanese conglomerate is scooping up Boston Dynamics, the robotics firm behind many of the videos you may have seen online of amazing yet somewhat creepy automatons. On Friday, SoftBank said it had struck a deal to acquire Boston Dynamics from Alphabet, the parent company of Google, which had bought the robotics company in 2013 but decided last year to put it up for sale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots," SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son said in a statement. "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."
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba introduced its first automobile last week, the RX5 sport utility vehicle, set to be delivered to customers in August. The company called the vehicle, made with Chinese carmaker SAIC, the first "Internet car" in a news release. It will run software developed by Alibaba's YunOS division to connect with other smart devices, the company said. It will retail for 148,800 yuan, or 22,300. Alibaba in its announcement said the car will use the company's own e-commerce platform to deliver such services as finding parking spaces, locating gas stations or making restaurant reservations.