Boston Dynamics’ Stretch Robot Now Available for Commercial Purchase

The mobile autonomous case-handling robot will be on display and doing live demos at MODEX 2022.

Boston Dynamics

Stretch was unveiled March 2021.

Robot maker Boston Dynamics Inc. has announced Stretch, its newest system designed specifically for warehouses and distribution centers, is now available for commercial purchase.

First introduced in the spring of 2021, Stretch has been in pilot testing with a select group of customers the past several months. The company said all units scheduled for 2022 delivery have already sold out thanks to strong demand from those early customers, which include DHL Supply Chain, Gap, H&M, and Performance Team – A Maersk Company.

Boston Dynamics said it is now accepting reservations for 2023 and 2024 deliveries. The Waltham, Mass.-based company has three robots in its portfolio: Spot, a quadruped that conducts industrial inspections for enterprise asset management; Atlas, its humanoid robot; and Stretch.  

The company said its robots are equipped with advanced mobility, dexterity and intelligence, enabling automation in unstructured or hard-to-traverse spaces, from manufacturing plants and construction sites to distribution centers and warehouses.

Stretch handles cases up to 50 lbs.

Boston Dynamics described Stretch as a versatile mobile robot that unloads floor-loaded trailers and containers for safer and more efficient warehouse operations. The robot works with a wide range of package types and sizes, from standard brown to highly graphical boxes, and can handle cases up to 50 lb.

Boston Dynamics' Stretch at MODEX 2022

Stretch, which is based on technology from Boston Dynamics' Handle robot, at MODEX 2022. Credit: Eugene Demaitre

With advanced mobility and a footprint the size of a pallet, Stretch is built to maneuver in and out of trucks and tight spaces in a warehouse, the company said. The robot is an easily scalable, autonomous system that can be installed and ready to work within existing warehouse infrastructure in just a few days, said Boston Dynamics.

“Labor shortages and supply chain snags continue to create challenges in keeping the flow of goods moving,” said Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics. “Stretch makes logistics operations more efficient and predictable, and it improves safety by taking on one of the most physically demanding jobs in the warehouse.”

DHL puts down $15 million for preorder

DHL Supply Chain recently announced a $15 million pre-order to further automate warehousing in North America with Stretch. The multi-year agreement marked the first commercial purchase of the robot.

“Many of our early adopter customers have already committed to deploying the robot at scale, so we are excited Stretch will soon be put to work more broadly, helping retailers and logistics companies handle the continued surging demand for goods,” Playter said.

Last week, Performance Team – A Maersk Company, also announced it has signed a multi-year agreement with Boston Dynamics to strengthen the company’s warehouse and distribution capabilities.

Stretch can work by itself

Stretch does not require any pre-programming of SKU numbers or information on box sizes. The robot makes all unloading decisions in real time, without the need for explicit directions or supervision, said Boston Dynamics.

The robot can work more than a full shift on a single charge or up to 16 hours with a high-capacity battery option, the company added.

Boston Dynamics noted that Stretch’s technology builds upon its decades of advancements in autonomous robots. The robot is equipped with a custom vacuum gripper and an advanced vision system that detects boxes and the container surroundings, enabling Stretch to autonomously recover any packages that shift or fall during unloading.

Stretch will be on display and running live demos in the Boston Dynamics booth B6222 at this week’s MODEX show in Atlanta.

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Boston Dynamics

Stretch was unveiled March 2021.

Robot Technologies