Its 2015 acquisition of Aldebaran didn’t go as easily as SoftBank hoped. On the time, the French robotics startup was finest identified for its Nao, which had develop into a reasonably ubiquitous presence in analysis services throughout the globe. The small humanoid robotic fashioned the muse for the rebranded SoftBank Robotics’ best-known creation, Pepper. Nao largely took a backseat as the corporate pushed to commercialize its new robotic.
At finest, Pepper was a model ambassador, good for holding up signage at airports and eating places. Final June, studies surfaced that SoftBank was halting manufacturing on Pepper, and in October, it obtained out that the corporate hoped to dump SoftBank Robotics Europe altogether. Earlier this 12 months, German agency United Robotics Group agreed to accumulate the division, and as we speak it introduced that it’s bringing again the space-inspired identify.
The newly reconfigured Aldebaran is one in every of eight robotics manufacturers below the URG umbrella. Its new father or mother has promised to “enhance our choices for current merchandise resembling Pepper and Nao.” It provides that SoftBank maintains a vested curiosity within the firm, noting:
SoftBank Robotics Group continues to assist our robotic progress as a shareholder of United Robotics Group and can keep as our Grasp Distributor in Japan and Asia.
Aldebaran will preserve in headquarters in Paris.