Boston Dynamics’ new robot is a warehouse-packing monster
Check out Stretch in action, it’s pretty darn impressive.
You might be familiar with Boston Dynamic’s robodog, Spot, but now the robotics company just unveiled a more pedestrian warehousing robot, Stretch. It’s designed for the practical but boring application of moving boxes around warehouse spaces, where it looks to be a winner.
See, Stretch is one part forklift, one part robotic arm, one part suction cup, and all-parts business. The suction cup array on the end of its maneuverable arm can lift boxes up to 50lbs each, and the mobile platform it’s mounted on can zip around the warehouse.
Check out Stretch in action, it’s pretty darn impressive. Well, apart from the unboxing of Spot, their more immediately-recognizable robodog. That part is kinda creepy, like every dystopian future we’ve seen in movies where the robots take over and immediately start making more robots to keep their metal feet firmly on the neck of humanity.
Anyway, the thing that makes this robot from Boston Dynamics seem like all of our dystopian nightmares coming true is also what makes it perfect for the automated warehouse of the future. Most automated arm systems are bolted to the floor, forcing companies to design their warehouse space around them, instead of adding the robotic order pickers to their existing arrangements.
That gives Boston Dynamics an edge, making them able to sell to those companies that consider automation as “too expensive” or “too time-consuming to integrate,” according to VP of business development Michael Perry. Stretch can even drive into the back of trucks to load or unload. Boston Dynamics is currently looking for test customers, with the aim of commercial deployment in 2022.
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