Stretch is designed to make warehouse operations safer and more efficient
Waltham, MA – March 29, 2021 – Boston Dynamics, the global leader in mobile robotics, has revealed Stretch, its new box-moving robot designed to support the growing demand for flexible automation solutions in the logistics industry. This debut marks the company’s official entrance into warehouse automation, a fast-growing market fueled by increased demand in e-commerce.
Stretch is Boston Dynamics’ first commercial robot specifically designed for warehouse facilities and distribution centers, of which there are more than 150,000 globally, according to analysts. The multi-purpose mobile robot is designed to tackle a number of tasks where rapid box moving is required, first starting with truck unloading and later expanding into order building. Stretch’s technology builds upon Boston Dynamics’ decades of advancements in robotics to create a flexible, easily-integrated solution that can work in any warehouse to increase their 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 Stretch to navigate loading docks, maneuver in tight spaces and adapt to changing facility layouts, eliminating the need for costly fixed automation infrastructure. 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.
Traditional warehouse automation approaches require either installation of fixed infrastructure or mobile robots that convey goods but struggle to meet productivity requirements to be an attractive investment for warehouse operators. Stretch offers logistics providers an easier path to automation by working within existing warehouse spaces and operations, without requiring costly reconfiguration or investments in new fixed infrastructure.
“Warehouses are struggling to meet rapidly increasing demand as the world relies more on just-in-time delivery of goods,” said 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.”
Boston Dynamics is currently seeking customers to pilot test deployment of Stretch with truck unloading tasks ahead of its commercial deployment in 2022. Interested parties can apply to join the Stretch Early Adopter Program by visiting: https://www.bostondynamics.com/stretch
About Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics is the global leader in developing and deploying highly mobile robots capable of tackling the toughest robotics challenges. Our core mission is to lead the creation and delivery of robots with advanced mobility, dexterity, and intelligence that add value in unstructured or hard-to-traverse spaces and positively impact society. We create high-performance robots equipped with perception, navigation and intelligence by combining the principles of dynamic control with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and next-generation software. We have three mobile robots in our portfolio – Spot®, Stretch™ and Atlas® – as well as Pick™, a machine learning vision solution for warehouse automation. Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics spun out of the MIT Leg Lab and is one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces of 2020. For more information on our company and its technologies, please visit www.bostondynamics.com.
BOSTON DYNAMICS ON CNN’S 60 MINUTES WITH ANDERSON COOPER
To expand on the introduction of BD’s visionary advancements, Cooper was let in after years of begging. What BD showed was the robots‘ ability to make you feel you are back in the Dirty Dancing movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns__YpRneBA
Honestly, Atlas, Spot, and Stretch are still far away from The Contours – watch yourself in comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azKPeIWdE6I – but, man, what a sight!
Let’s see when we can go to a Corona-conform dance party with them. 🙂
HERE WE FINALLY SEE THE POTENTIAL OF THE BOTS
…unlike the disappointions before I had to read textes about in lessons.
Comparing the bots I read about before, these one’s are masterpieces and well programmed. Here we can finally see, what potential bot has. In the random textes I read, experts said it could need long for a full and well development of a robot. I kinda questioning my self whether the global warming will descrease the humanity first – before we have a bot working like in Scince-Fiction. However, may it is just a fiction and does not meant to be invented or developed. However, you programmed the robots incredibly and just have proven that we could develope faster than we actually guessed.
I actually just want to compare then the potential of the bots your invented with the bots used in medical or tourism. I kinda guess it is also important to use the bots where it makes sense to use it. So, thats the topic I want to mention here as well.
In the following paragraph I will clarify my position.
As I told berfore, I read a few random articles in lessons before, where bots are used in the healthcare system or hotels. This gave me a lesson that bots will need really long to get fully developed, if they needed years for programming bots with that simple functions. The bots simply have the function to advise customers or inform patients what sugery they can expect. Sounds neat but even that seems to fail, so I lost hope in robot development until I saw that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns__YpRneBA
Here we can see how bot developement should look today. We see the jobs they should take on them as well. The warehouse is definetly the right place where bots can be used. In my opinion bots should have objective jobs instead of jobs where you need to give advices or need feelings. At least from that what I see, I guess it does not need any source to tell that humans are much better in giving advises than bots. Because humans are individual and have also a behavoir which cannot being pre-calculated – at least not today. As I said, it could need may very long until we reach the utopia of the scince-fiction movies.
May someone could argue now, that humans never reach perfection on that way. But perfection is utopia as well. This is a dream like Time Travelling shown in ‚Back to the Future‘. We can really wait long for bots working in advice systems but hey! As I said, bots which work in warehouses are also much more useful than the perfection you try to implement everywhere. We should stop focussiong on perfection and try to test out limits as shown in the video. Here we not even need dancing shows, if we see the potential of the robots in that video.
As a result, I clarfy my opinion that the robots of the video are awesome and have original ideas has been developed succesfully. Finally something realistic.
May soon we have dogs we don’t need to train to bring us the paper, may the robots could do it for us. May also we don’t need to bring our coke cans back home and the dogs can do it as well. So, keep your work up!