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Automakers have been known to invest in startup companies and research projects. With so many in the industry looking into futuristic technologies like augmented reality, autonomous self-driving vehicles, and even personal aircrafts, we’ve seen a greater expansion of collaboration between the giants and the little guys. Kia Corp has even announced its own manufacturing plant for the production of purpose-built vehicles (E-FOREST). Now, in what could be an industry-first, the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG; parent group of Kia Corp announced the launch of the Boston Dynamics AI Institute.
Lots of us should be familiar with the name “Boston Dynamics”. The robotics company has been making a lot of headway with its dog-like robot “Spot” and human-like robots that can perform multiple functions (such as picking up and delivering objects, maneuvering traffic in a hallway, and more). HMG and Kia are even planning to use “Spot” in their project for lunar exploration and the metaverse. With an initial investment of more than $400 million into the new Institute, led by Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, the company is certainly thrilled to have an organization dedicated to finding top talent in all areas of robotics that could one day even join the company. That’s just speculation though, based on this quote by Marc Raibert executive director of Boston Dynamics AI Institute.
“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…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.” - Marc Raibert executive director of Boston Dynamics AI Institute
Will this be an institute open to college graduates? Maybe. The culture of the institute will be a combination of university research labs and corporate development labs with a focus on four core technical areas: cognitive AI, athletic AI, organic hardware design, and ethics and policy. Searching for elite talent in AI, robotics, computing, machine learning, and engineering, the new Institute will be working towards tackling the current obstacles advanced technology currently faces. This isn’t only about increasing the capabilities of robots, but also how practical they are. Right now, advanced robots are few and far in-between, but one day, they could be as common as the Amazon Alexa or Google Home smart speakers.
Hiring new staff for AI and robotics researchers, software and hardware engineers, and technicians at all levels of experience, from entry-level to management positions, the Institute will also be reaching out to universities and corporate research labs for mutually beneficial partnerships. We’re not saying the University of Central Florida will get a new robotics research lab, but it’s one of the most expansive in the state, with a campus that’s pretty much a small city. For now, the headquarters for the Boston Dynamics AI Institute will be located in the Kendall Square research community in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For more information for those interested in working with the institute, just go to bdaiinstitute.com. HMG and Kia have held many conferences in the past to develop automotive technology in the past, but opening an organization dedicated to it is something else. Want to know more? You can always find news about technology in the automotive industry when you follow us on NowCar social media.
<h6">Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media