For an undisclosed price, Google sold Boston Dynamics, which is known for its stunning technology such as four-legged robots that move like animals, to the giant Japanese firm. The lab, known for its 28-mile-per-hour robotic cheetah and a robot that can walk up and down stairs, was acquired by Google in 2013 when Android co-inventor Andy Rubin was focusing on the company's experimental efforts.
SoftBank also snapped up Schaft, a Japanese robotics firm best known for the walking robot it revealed to the world last year. Sources tell Recode that the labs never "fully integrated into the company." SoftBank is a natural fit—it bought Aldebaran in 2012, the robotics firm that makes Pepper, the popular human-like robot used in stores in Japan and the U.S.