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SoftBank's new mobile pursuit: walking robots

Tech giant filling expertise gap with purchase of two startups

SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son with the company's Pepper robot, which can move its head and hands but cannot walk.

TOKYO -- By getting its hands on a pair of startups specializing in ambulatory robots, SoftBank Group aims to shore up a technological weak point as it prepares for the future.

The Japanese telecommunications and information technology giant recently agreed to buy Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Google parent Alphabet for a sum thought to total tens of billions of yen, or hundreds of millions of dollars.

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