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Korea's LIG Nex1 set to acquire U.S. firm Ghost Robotics

By Jeong Hyeon-hwan & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
Vision 60, a four-legged unmanned ground vehicle made by Ghost Robotics, can travel up to 6.2 miles on a single charge with its sensors activated at a maximum speed of 10 feet per second. Photo courtesy of Ghost Robotics
Vision 60, a four-legged unmanned ground vehicle made by Ghost Robotics, can travel up to 6.2 miles on a single charge with its sensors activated at a maximum speed of 10 feet per second. Photo courtesy of Ghost Robotics

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- South Korea's defense company LIG Nex1 said in a regulatory filing it was set to acquire Ghost Robotics, a U.S. maker of unmanned quadraped vehicles.

LIG Nex1, in a partnership with a private equity firm, will pay $239 million for a 60% stake in the Philadelphia-based company, which builds four-legged robots for the U.S. military, its allies and enterprises, according to the Friday filing.

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Founded in 2015, Ghost Robotics developed the Vision 60, a midsize dog-like ground drone for use in unstructured urban and natural environments for defense and enterprise applications.

The 112-pound robot was designed to have a maximum run time of 3 hours with a payload of 22 pounds, according to Ghost Robotics.

Equipped with Nvidia's Xavier chip, the Vision 60 can travel up to 6.2 miles on a single charge with its sensors activated at a maximum speed of 10 feet per second.

Investors seem bullish about the purchase as evidenced by LIG Nex1's share price shooting up 29.92% Monday, the maximum daily increase possible on the South Korean stock exchange.

"Ghost Robotics has emerged as one of the most prominent makers of military robots. LIG Nex1 could make pre-emptive investment in technology and secure new business opportunities," Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Yang Seung-yoon said in a report.

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U.S. consultancy Coherent Market Insights expects the global military robotics market could expand from $21.11 billion last year to $34.48 billion by 2030.

In 2021, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor invested $880 million to take an 80% stake in Boston Dynamics from Japan's SoftBank.

Boston Dynamics filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Ghost Robotics a year ago, with the case still pending.

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