Boston Dynamics, famous for robots like Spot and Atlas, has unveiled its latest creation called Stretch.
Unlike the other robots made so far, Stretch is far more traditional and very much resembles the robot arms which have been a permanent part of countless factories for years now.
What makes Stretch special is that it isn’t a stationary tool, but instead a movie robot that’s more focused on moving items instead of the multi-purpose nature of other Boston Dynamics bots.
“Meet Stretch, a prototype of our new robot designed to automate box moving tasks in warehouses and distribution centers. Stretch’s mobile base allows it to go to where repetitive box lifting is required – unloading trucks, building pallets of boxes and order building. Stretch makes warehouse operations more efficient and safer for workers,” reads the description.
As always we have a high quality video showing things off.
We can learn more about Stretch on its dedicated portion of the Boston Dynamics website where you can also leave your email to be sent updates about the robot as well as other “warehouse solutions” from the company.
The main robotic arm here has seven degrees of freedom and and is made to reach items anywhere in a pallet or truck. What looks to be a suction head at the end can grab all manner of packages, but no weight limit has been stated for the arm or the suction.
The large structure next to the robot arm here is a “Perception Mast” which offer “advanced perception [that] delivers fast and precise case detection”. We assume that’s technical talk for collection of sensors and communication hardware.
While moving around warehouses with its so-called Mobile Base and high-capacity batteries, Stretch can also be connected to a continuous source of power. We’re not entirely sure what the benefit of this would be since the mobility of this robot seems to be a massive selling point here. Then again we’re not engineers or warehouse managers so maybe there’s a use case out there for this dual power option.
No release date or pricing has been provided to the public in this announcement. It’s very much a, “if you have to ask you can’t afford it”, type of deal and you’ll need to contact the sales department of Boston Dynamics if you’re serious about buying something.