Robot design and manufacturing company Boston Dynamics has this week unveiled their new Stretch robot, designed to offer a mobile robot capable of autonomously moving boxes around warehouses. “The combination of strength and speed in Stretch’s arm is something we haven’t seen before in a mobile robot, and it’s what makes this a unique and potentially exciting entry into the warehouse robotics space ” says Boston Dynamics. Check out the demonstration video below for an introduction to the new Stretch robot which features a 7 -DOF arm capable of lifting up to 23 kg and moving up to 800 boxes per hour.
“Stretch is built with pieces from Spot and Atlas and that gave us a big head start. For example, if you look at Stretch’s vision system, it’s 2D cameras, depth sensors, and software that allows it to do obstacle detection, box detection, and localization. Those are all the same sensors and software that we’ve been using for years on our legged robots. And if you look closely at Stretch’s wrist joints, they’re actually the same as Spot’s hips. They use the same electric motors, the same gearboxes, the same sensors, and they even have the same closed-loop controller controlling the joints. “
Kevin Blankespoor explains : ” Stretch is the first mobile robot that we’ve designed specifically for the warehouse. It’s all about moving boxes. Stretch is a flexible robot that can move throughout the warehouse and do different tasks. During a typical day in the life of Stretch in the future, it might spend the morning on the inbound side of the warehouse unloading boxes from trucks. It might spend the afternoon in the aisles of the warehouse building up pallets to go to retailers and e-commerce facilities, and it might spend the evening on the outbound side of the warehouse loading boxes into the trucks. So, it really goes to where the work is.”