The acquisition is the latest by Google's secretive robotics division, led by Andy Rubin, the former boss of the company's android mobile operating system. Google's new robotics division has acquired more than a half-dozen other robotics companies.

Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company works with the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps and the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, according to its website.

Google and Boston Dynamics declined to comment on the matter. A person familiar with the matter confirmed the deal, which was first reported by the New York Times on Saturday, and said that Google will honor Boston Dynamics' military contracts.

The company's website lists a catalog of nine different robots, including a DARPA-funded machine capable of scaling vertical walls using "micro-claws," and a small four-wheeled vehicle that can jump 30 feet into the air and which is being developed with the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force.

The four-legged Cheetah robot, which can surpass speeds of 29 miles per hour according to the website, is billed as the "fastest legged robot in the world."