Japanese Group Softbank (Telecom/Internet company) is buying 80% of french robot maker Aldebaran Robotics for 100 million dollars. First companies that invested in the startup are now out : Intel Capital (Mr. Maisonnier’s own fund), iSource, Credit Agricole Private Equity and CDC Innovation.
Aldebaran was created in 2005 by Bruno Maisonnier and has a staff team of 150 people in several offices and research centers around the world.
Biggest invention of the french robotics startup is the humanoid robot NAO. It costs around 15,000 dollars to buy one but with this new partnership we can hope than a public version at 1,000-4,000 $ is coming soon.
According to Financial Times via IEEE Softbank will “invest another $40m to $50m to accelerate development“.
Aldebran Robotics was also developing a bigger humanoid robot called ROMEO , an assistant for people suffering from loss of autonomy.
NAO Next Gen :