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H&M, Gap Drive Strong Demand for Boston Dynamics’ Stretch Robot

Boston Dynamics, a specialist in mobile robotics, announced that Stretch, its newest robot designed specifically for warehouses and distribution centers, is now available for commercial purchase.

Part of a new generation of mobile robots, Stretch was introduced in Spring 2021 and has been in pilot testing with a select group of customers over the past several months. All units scheduled for 2022 delivery have already sold out, the company said, with strong demand from early customers, including DHL Supply Chain, Gap, H&M and Performance Team-A Maersk Company. Boston Dynamics is now accepting reservations for 2023 and 2024 deliveries.

Stretch is 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 pounds.

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 robot is a scalable, autonomous solution that can be installed and ready to work within existing warehouse infrastructure in just a few days.

“Labor shortages and supply chain snags continue to create challenges in keeping the flow of goods moving,” Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics, said. “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. 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.”

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DHL Supply Chain recently announced a $15 million pre-order to further automate warehousing in North America with Stretch. The multiyear agreement marked the first commercial purchase of the robot. Last week, Performance Team–A Maersk Company, also announced it has signed a multiyear deal with Boston Dynamics to strengthen the company’s warehouse and distribution capabilities.

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

Stretch does not require any pre-programming of SKU numbers or information on box sizes, instead making all unloading decisions in real time, without the need for explicit directions or supervision. The robot is capable of working more than a full shift on a single charge, or up to 16 hours with a high-capacity battery option.

In addition to Stretch, Boston Dynamics’ portfolio includes Spot, a quadruped that conducts industrial inspections for enterprise asset management, and Atlas, an advanced humanoid robot.