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Boston Dynamics' Stretch Robot: Warehouse Automation

Boston Dynamics has joined forces with DHL Supply Chain to introduce the Stretch stacker robot, revolutionizing warehouse operations across North America. With a $15 million investment, DHL aims to streamline warehouse processes through automation.

The Stretch robot, characterized by its mobility and automated case handling capabilities, is set to roll out in DHL warehouses starting from spring 2022. Equipped with a robotic arm on a mobile base, Stretch boasts seven degrees of movement and suction cups for efficient load handling.

Featuring cameras and sensors for navigation, the Stretch robot operates continuously for up to eight hours on built-in batteries. While it excels at manipulating numerous boxes with intricate spatial maneuvers, it currently focuses on traditional box shapes within limited weight parameters.

The deployment of robotics in warehouses addresses the pressing labor shortage crisis, with millions of job openings in the US alone. Automation offers a solution to optimize warehouse efficiency amid difficulties in hiring and retaining frontline workers.

Sally Miller, CIO of DHL Supply Chain North America, emphasizes the significance of warehouse automation in enhancing operational efficiency and addressing industry challenges. The Stretch robot exemplifies flexible automation, positioning DHL for regional and global scalability in warehouse optimization.

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