Sources: SoftBank to restructure robotics business, stops Pepper production

SoftBank is restructuring its robotics business and has stopped producing its Pepper robot, according to media reports.

SoftBank will downsize its robotics business, with the company planning to lay off about half of its 330 employees in France in September this year. In addition, the company's sales teams in the U.S. and U.K. have already laid off half their staff, according to three sources.

The Pepper robot was launched in 2014 and was manufactured by Foxconn in China. It was designed to help solve labor shortages but has struggled to find its global customer base.

SoftBank has made other adjustments to its robotics strategy, including selling an 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics to Hyundai.

On June 21, 2021, Hyundai Motor Group acquired a controlling stake in Boston Dynamics. After the acquisition, Hyundai Motor Group holds an 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics, while SoftBank retains the remaining 20 percent through one of its subsidiaries.

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