US-based robotics manufacturer Boston Dynamics has released yet another robot to enhance logistics in the warehouse. The company claims its new robot called Stretch is very efficient and versatile, making it possible to deploy it to warehouses without installing additional automation infrastructure. According to Boston Dynamics, the Stretch robot can move boxes in the warehouse at an estimated throughput rate of 800 packages per hour.
The design of Stretch is a bit different from several of the previous logistics robots produced by Boston Dynamics since 2019 when it acquired Kinema Systems. It has a square mobile base, a set of wheels for navigation around its environment, a perception mast fitted with cameras and sensors to aid the robot’s intelligent movement. The Stretch robot also has massive robotic arms with seven degrees of freedom and a suction pad system that enables it to lift loads up to 23kg securely. The carrying capacity of the Stretch looks minimal, as it cannot deal with heavy loads, which are common.
According to Michael Perry, VP of Business Development at Boston Dynamics, the robot can provide automation in environments that do not have automation infrastructure. It does not need additional tracks or other infrastructure for it to navigate se amlessly across the warehouse. The Stretch comes with a battery system that can power the robot for eight hours on a full charge. The robot can also be tethered to the mains electricity supply with ease.
Boston Dynamics is yet to put a price tag on the new robot. Its affordability may be a driving force that could encourage customers seeking an inexpensive and straightforward automation solution to their logistics problems. It remains to be seen how the robot will perform in the planned pilot scheme by Boston Dynamics to test the robot. The pilot run will precede the eventual commercial deployment of the Stretch robot in 2022.
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