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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The box stacker Stretch follows the robot dog Spot

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For a long time, the Boston Dynamics company mainly advertised the robot dog Spot. He has a whole range of interesting skills. However, there is no clear area of ​​responsibility. Instead, customers need to see where they can use the robotic dog’s capabilities. The police in North Rhine-Westphalia therefore bought a copy for the state’s own research institute. The first mission then took place after a major fire in Essen. Here the robot dog was used to examine the burnt-out building. With Boston Dynamics’ second product, things are a little different. Because the Stretch robot has been specially developed for use in logistics centers. This has been tested by DHL, among others. The managers there were amazed by the possibilities of the logistics robot and decided to invest 15 million dollars in purchasing the automated helpers. From 2023, new customers can then purchase Stretch.

Image: Boston Dynamics

Smaller companies should also be able to use the robot

The logistics robot does the job with a single arm with suction cups at the end. This allows packages weighing up to 23 kilograms to be lifted and stacked. Cameras and sensors ensure that no accidents happen. The entire structure is also on a moving platform. This makes the robot flexible in use. The developers also ensure that stretch can be integrated into processes that are already up and running within a few days. This should also make it worthwhile for smaller companies to use it. The performance of the robot has already been determined: it can lift and sort up to 800 parcels per hour. However, in order to calculate whether it is worth using, it is important to know what the logistics robot costs. Boston Dynamics still keeps a low profile here. For classification: The robotic dog Spot costs about $70,000.

Logistics is becoming increasingly important

However, the production of the automatic carton stacker is only being increased gradually. The units produced this year have also already been promised to the companies that took part in the pilot test. In addition to DHL, these were H&M and GAP. Anyone who does not belong to this illustrious group can now at least place an order. However, the ordered robots will not be delivered until next year at the earliest. In short, the market for robots in logistics is huge. On the one hand, logistics is becoming increasingly important. At the same time, many processes are still organized quite conventionally. The use of robots and digitization offer the potential to significantly increase work efficiency. Boston Dynamics clearly wants a piece of the pie here.

Via: Boston Dynamics


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