Boston Dynamics Stretch Robot Gains New Skills

The autonomous robot can now unload multiple objects at once, boosting productivity

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

October 23, 2023

2 Min Read
Stretch in action
Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics has announced new capabilities for its warehouse robot Stretch, with the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) now capable of picking and placing multiple objects at once.

The new feature, known as multipick, allows the robotic arm to move several boxes at once, enabling “significantly higher productivity.”

Stretch autonomously makes decisions on how many and which boxes to move, using its perception system to consider factors such as the size and weight of the box, as well as how boxes are arranged to facilitate the easiest range of motion. 

The robot’s software can also assess the pressure exerted on the boxes and whether it is sufficient to carry the object without dropping it. This data is also used to determine how and where to place the boxes on the conveyor belt.

“The variety of intelligent box placement behaviors rolled out with multipick seamlessly integrate Stretch with downstream warehouse workflows,” the company said in a statement. “Our advanced gripper doesn’t dump all the boxes on the conveyor, but places and spaces each box so they are better aligned for scanning and transportation with customers’ sortation systems.”

The robot’s expanded capabilities come as part of Boston Dynamics’ plan to bring Stretch to more tasks within a warehouse.

Related:Boston Dynamics Robots to Increase Efficiencies at Otto Group Facilities

While currently Stretch is primarily used for truck unloading, Boston Dynamics said it was designed as a multipurpose robot, with the capacity to take on a range of additional tasks. 

“Stretch will eventually take its case handling ability from inside the container to the rest of the warehouse,” the company said in a statement. “In addition to unloading, other applications on our roadmap for Stretch include case picking, palletizing and depalletizing, and loading containers. 

“We also imagine a warehouse where Stretch is working in concert with other pieces of automation, and has interoperability with other AMRs and autonomous forklifts.”

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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