The claw chooses who will go and who will stay

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

March 30, 2021

1 Min Read

The claw chooses who will go and who will stay

Famed robotics specialist Boston Dynamics has unveiled Stretch — its first product for the rapidly growing warehouse automation market.

The multi-purpose autonomous hardware platform was designed to tackle tasks where rapid box movement is required, including truck loading and unloading, and order building.

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

“Mobile robots enable the flexible movement of materials and improve working conditions for employees.”

Inevitable commercialization

Announcing the robot, Boston Dynamics – famous for a series of iconic designs including Spot, the robot dog – claimed Stretch would increase the flow of goods in warehouses, improve employee safety when carrying out physically difficult tasks, and lower expensive fixed automation costs.

The robot boasts an omni-directional mobile base which allows it to navigate loading docks. It is equipped with a custom-designed arm, and a smart-gripper that can handle a variety of boxed and shrink-wrapped cases.

Boston Dynamic said its computer vision technologies allow Stretch to identify boxes easily, with limited training required.

The Massachusetts-based company is currently seeking customers for pilot deployments in truck unloading tasks, ahead of general availability in 2022.

Boston Dynamics recently saw Hyundai Motor Group secure a controlling stake in the company, acquired from SoftBank in a deal that valued the venture at $1.1 billion.

However, the company may soon be unable to sell its robots to New York police. The City Council is currently considering legislation aimed at banning the NYPD from using armed robots, following a potential hostage situation that saw the force deploy a robotic dog made by Boston Dynamics.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

Keep up with the ever-evolving AI landscape
Unlock exclusive AI content by subscribing to our newsletter!!

You May Also Like