Boston Dynamics has presented its new robot — Stretch — to revolutionize warehouse work.
As it’s a robot, it does not tire, does not require training, and is stronger and faster — so it’s gonna put many people jobless.
Boston Dynamics is known for developing some of the most famous real robots, such as the Spot robotic dog, which became their first commercially available product. Another well-known project is the Atlas, a humanoid robot that relies on the human body to perform movements that no other robot can even dream of.
The new warehouse robot, Stretch, is designed for classic packing work and should score points with a higher work speed and more flexibility than previously available devices of this type.
Stretch comes with a rectangular design and an unnatural extendable arm. It consists of a pallet-sized base platform, a mast equipped with cameras and sensors, and a gripper arm with several joints. At the end of it are numerous suction cups with which the robot lifts, transports and stacks package weighing up to 23 kilograms. The automated helper should be able to move up to 800 boxes per hour in this way.
Creators have been especially proud of how Stretch is able to unload trucks and mount pallets quickly and safely. Thanks to its compact base and the ability to move freely in all directions, Stretch should be able to do its job in a wide variety of environments. Even tight spaces and loading ramps are not a problem for the robot, according to Boston Dynamics.
Stretch will be able to work during the eight hours of the working day thanks to high-capacity rechargeable batteries.
On the other hand, Boston Dynamics boasts that Stretch can adapt to any warehouse, and therefore, it is not necessary to invest in more infrastructure. For Boston Dynamics, it is the first device for this area of application.
Stretch is scheduled to officially commence its service in commercial companies from 2022. The manufacturer has not yet given a price. As part of a pilot project, companies already have the opportunity to test a prototype of the robot for unloading trucks.