Boston Dynamics unveils new robot for warehouse automation

Boston Dynamics unveils new robot for warehouse automation article image

Meet Stretch, Boston Dynamics’ new box-moving robot.

Stretch is Boston Dynamics’ first foray into warehouse automation, a fast-growing market fuelled by increased demand in e-commerce.

It is the first commercial robot specifically designed for warehouse facilities and distribution centres, with an estimated 150,000+ such facilities globally.

The multi-purpose mobile robot is designed to tackle a number of tasks where rapid box moving is required. This includes truck unloading and stacking.

Stretch is designed to increase the flow of goods, improve employee safety in physically difficult tasks and lower expensive fixed automation costs.

The robot’s small, omni-directional mobile base allows it to navigate loading docks, manoeuvre in tight spaces and adapt to changing facility layouts.

Advanced vision system

It is equipped with a custom-designed lightweight arm and a smart-gripper with advanced sensing and controls that can handle a large variety of boxed and shrink-wrapped cases.

Stretch also includes Boston Dynamics’ computer vision technology that enables it to identify boxes easily and without extensive training for each customer. Its vision system works in tandem with pick & place activity, enabling high pick rates.

“Warehouses are struggling to meet rapidly increasing demand as the world relies more on just-in-time delivery of goods,” says Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics.

“Mobile robots enable the flexible movement of materials and improve working conditions for employees. Stretch combines Boston Dynamics’ advancements in mobility, perception and manipulation to tackle the most challenging, injury-prone case-handling tasks, and we’re excited to see it put to work.” 

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